CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will introduce a bill Monday directly linked to the water emergency that has impacted 300,000 residents in nine West Virginia counties.
Tomblin said the bill gives power to the Division of Environmental Protection to create an above ground storage tank regulatory program.
“It requires above ground storage tanks to be constructed and maintained in a safe manner,” Tomblin said.
The bill also requires public notice on the location of tanks and what’s in them.
It was a tank owned by Freedom Industries on the Elk River in Charleston that ruptured Jan. 9 spilling approximately 7,500 gallons of MCHM contaminating water distributed by West Virginia American Water Company.
The governor’s bill includes a requirement for water utilities to have contingency plans in place to prepare for emergencies.
“I think we’ve learned a lot from this event and hopefully with this legislation we can prevent another event like this,” Tomblin said.
The House of Delegates has already approved a bill that would financially help businesses impacted by the water emergency. Another regulatory bill has been introduced in the state Senate. There’s also congressional legislation connected with the water emergency under consideration.