CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state House of Delegates Judiciary Committee took its first look Thursday night at a new version of a bill that responds to the Jan. 9 chemical leak on the Elk River and the water emergency that followed.

The detailed bill replaces the version the state Senate passed a few weeks ago. House Judiciary Committee chairman Tim Manchin (D-Marion) told delegates several hours would be spent working on the bill Friday and Sunday.

MORE: Read bill’s new version

Robert Williams (D-Taylor), who explained the bill to fellow committee members Thursday, said the first part calls for the state Bureau of Public Health to work with water utilities to update their source-water protection plans.

“Where they have a good handle on all of the contaminants that could be potentially affecting their systems,” Williams said.

The protection plans deal with both surface and ground water.

The second section of the bill creates regulations for above-ground storage tanks, and Williams said the third section calls for additional protections in the zone of critical concern where water utilities are drawing their water.

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  • Aaron

    The governor proposed a bill that addresses the shortcomings that allowed Freedom Industries to escape inspections. Pass that bill and be done with it.

  • David


    I was being facetious. Obviously there are regulations already in existence for this.

    But why were we told lies about that not being the case ?

  • Buffoon Lover

    This group of buffoons is simply looking to line their pockets. Their motives are so obvious it is laughable. I have cancelled my cable service because the Legislature provides me all the entertainment I can tolerate. This issue is worth two or three special sessions.

  • Aaron

    Why? It's too late to crossover to the Senate and make it out of the Legislature and onto the Governors desk.

    Ah, Legislatures have already requested a special session to address this issue at an additional cost to taxpayers.

    Even though we as a state will be forced to raid the rainy day fund to pay the bills because of a budget short fall.

    Leadership at it's finest.

    • Aaron

      My misunderstanding. The Senate has already passed a bill thus this bill can be completed.

  • David

    I have to get my car inspected every year and it only holds 15 gallons of gas.

    You would think tanks that can hold over 10,000 gallons of toxic deadly chemicals would have to be inspected at least as often?

    Especially when many are decades old.

    And the owner of the tank needs to pay for the inspection !

    • Amelia

      It only costs $12.00 to inspect your car. It costs thousands to inspect a tank the right way. There are already effective rules in place regarding tank inspections. The standards come from the American Petroleum Institute (API). We just need to hold people accountable for the standards in place. OSHA and the EPA have rules too. We don't have to re-invent the wheel. This legislation could be the death knell for jobs in the valley.