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.

 

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Comments

  • Beckie

    The burning question is why did Tomblin not address and sign this bill back in 2011 when it was presented to him?????

  • me

    Oh boy. More jobs for EPA who currently are not doing the job now!.

  • Metzger

    with all of the different government agencies and oversight that is already in place we shouldn't need yet another bill to protect us - just another example of government incompentence

  • Wv-1968

    Hind sight is always 20/20!

  • Kevin w

    I just hope they don't allow any tanks above the water plant and we won't have to worry about it,, its simple,, tear those old tanks down,,

  • HOSA

    NOW, I SEE WHERE KANAWHA COUNTY SCHOOLS ARE OPEN TUESDAY AND IN WHICH I HAVE A KID WITHIN THAT SCHOOL SYSTEM AND TODAY THEY COME OUT IN THE GAZETTE AND SAY MORE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR MEDICAL ISSUES THAN BEFORE THE BAN WAS LIFTED. MAN, I JUST DON'T KNOW TO DO.

    • Aaron

      I wonder how many of those individuals that are going to the ER are doing so to establish a case.

      • Kevin w

        I would say 90% of them are just trying to get a check,,

    • Kevin w

      That's the lawrers telling people to go to the er,, and they wonder why business's won't come to wv,

    • wvtd

      pray!

  • Dennis

    It is all well and good to put this bill before the legislature, but what is lacking is the request for the funding for the inspectors that the DEP will say that they need to do the inspections. This will be just another law on the books that will not be inforced.

    • Aaron

      With ~800 employees currently at the DEP, what makes you think there is an urgent need for new inspectors, particularly given that what requires inspection-containment and structural soundness- is already covered by current DEP employees?

  • HOSA

    HEY MIKE, FOLLOW THE MONEY. I HAVE BEEN AFFECTED DUE TO DRINKING THE WATER AND WASHING MY HANDS IN THE WATER. HAVE YOU? BEEN TO THE DOCTOR AND PERSCRIBED MEDICATION FOR RASHES TO NO ADVAIL, HAVE YOU? CAN'T GET IN TO SEE A SPECIALIST UNTIL MARCH. SO, YES THIS PROBLEM STARTS FROM THE TOP NOT THE BOTTOM, BECAUSE THEY ARE PEONS. SO, YES, I DON, I KNOW HOW LONG I HAVE.

  • Wowbagger

    Well, that will take care of the last crisis, now what about the next one Earl Ray!

  • derek

    create another stupid bill do it right the first time so sick of stupid legislation after the fact. Shows somebody isn't doing their job.

  • Dale

    Will existing tanks be grandfathered?

  • Dont sit on your brain

    the major problem has been and will forever continue to be the "special interest" that keeps the political machine from allowing regulatory agencies to actually do their jobs. That and the continual cutbacks in money and personnel to have the time to go out and look at all these facilities.

    Cut the fat where it needs cutting, and let those that enforce this type of thing (or that should be able to) have those recourses that are needed to do so. Instead of freaking out and trying to lay the blame on everyone else.

    Government at its best......... It all ultimately goes to the shoulders of that low man on the totem pole....instead of on the shoulders of the ones with the ultimate responsibility.

  • Dont sit on your brain

    above ground storage tanks currently have to be constructed in a certain manner. NFPA covers this. It is a regulation that the fire marshal uses in regards to fuel tanks all the time.

  • PeopleAreStupid

    Never let a crisis go to waste.. Got to get infront of the cameras and pretend like you give a crap..

  • Aaron

    Above ground tanks are already subject to some regulations. I would imagine the biggest need is the ability by one of the regulatory agencies to inspect these facilities.

    • wirerowe

      Aaron they are regulated at construction. Are there regulations for inspections for inspections and reporting for all above ground tanks after construction? I am on your side. Just asking

      • Aaron

        They face a very set of strict regulations regarding spill containment. For some reason though, apparently they do not require on site inspections. I don't know what needs to change beyond that.

      • WV Redneck

        I can't speak for all but I can tell you that in my business at least the are very regulated. The construction and containment especially. They are required to be formally inspected quarterly and records of that inspection kept. There is an inspection check list used and signed off on. Other than that they are looked at when an operator is on site which is typically at least one a month. The containment is to have the ability to hold 110% of the total contents of the tank if it is a single wall tank and if double wall it doesn't require a secondary containment dyke. A double wall has a few inch's of space between walls a a minimum. A tank within a tank so to speak. We do dyke both typs of tanks if they are anywhere near a stream etc. just to be safe.

    • Dont sit on your brain

      Amen............someone that knows....... thank you aaron