January 01, 2015

West Virginia’s Chemical Spill and Tank Bill

Gale Lea Rubrecht

In January 2014, chemicals leaked from aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) into the river in Charleston, West Virginia, one mile upstream of a public water supply intake, contaminating the drinking water of approximately 300,000 residents. Less than sixty days later, the legislature drafted and passed the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (the Act), Senate Bill 373. The Act includes a new registration, permit, and regulatory program for ASTs and directs the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to develop emergency and legislative rules to implement the new program for consideration during the 2015 legislative session.

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