MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia County Delegate Barbara Fleischauer (D) believes it is too soon to call a special session to deal with the unintended consequences of the tank law that was passed earlier this year.

The tank bill, or the Above Ground Storage Act, requires registrations and inspections of above ground storage tanks in West Virginia, large and small. That’s causing concern for small tank owners, especially those in the oil and gas industries, who have said the cost of complying with the law could put them out of business.

“There are some provisions in there that could help,” Del. Fleischauer said Monday on MetroNews Talkline. “For example it does not have be to done by an engineer, the inspection, there are four different options.”

Fleischauer believes all storage tanks around the state need to be registered so the state Department of Environmental Protection will know which ones could pose a serious risk.

“We have a lot more focus on the zone of critical concern which is that area surrounding water intakes,” Fleischauer said.

The bill stipulated all tanks needed to be registered by the first of the year, but Fleischauer said she understands that is a tremendous amount of work and tanks located in those critical areas need to be prioritized.

“Things that are in the zone of critical concern need to be the top priority.”

Fleischauer remains confident tank owners and the DEP will be able to work through the issues.

The tank issue dominated the 60-day legislative session following the Jan. 9 spill of crude MCHM into the Elk River in Charleston touching off a water emergency in parts of nine West Virginia counties.

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  • sammy

    Fleischauer should focus on her real goals. Perhaps legalizing pot in WV could be a start. Isn't that part of the liberal agenda these days?

  • hillbilly

    Fleischauer is one of the most liberal legislators we have, so her response is most likely just a way to "delay" making any changes on the law as it is written, wrong or not..

  • Casey

    I am very concerned with this legislation. If enacted, small producers will be adversely squeezed. This is a fine example of using a sledge hammer to kill a fly. One unwanted result will be the removal of tanks on gas well locations where they are needed. There will be a large number of people using buckets and small drums to capture well fluids. Some will choose to dispose of these fluids by pouring them out in the woods as apposed to allowing the on site tank to gather fluids for proper removal. AS a very small, law abiding producer, the catastrophic results of this legislation are Very obvious. This will also create a market for scrapping these tanks. Preparing a steel tank for scrap is VERY dangerous and requires someone with the proper equipment and knowledge. The lure of "not so easy" money will cause individuals to attempt hot cuts on these tanks to reduce the size of the tanks to prepare them for scrapping. There WILL be lives lost during this process for the $350 to $400 a 100bbl steel tank is worth scrapped. Please consider speaking with operators "on the ground" before a decision is made that will create irreversible damage to West Virginia's economy and environment.

  • ViennaGuy

    Let me get this straight ...

    We couldn't pass a tank law fast enough back in January when the Legislature was in session because we had to look like we were "doing something."

    Now, fixing the problems in the poorly-written and hastily-passed tank law are not so important?

    Once again, the Legislature's grandstanding is plain for everyone to see.