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.