CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than 1,000 above ground storage tanks have been found ‘not fit for service’ as part of the required inspections following the chemical spill and water emergency that happened a year ago this week.

The Above Ground Storage Act, signed into law last year after the leak of crude MCHM into the Elk River in Charleston that resulted in tap water being contaminated for 300,000 residents, required storage tanks to be inspected and certified by Jan. 1. State DEP Secretary Randy Huffman said Monday of the nearly 50,000 registered tanks, 28,000 have received certified inspections and of those, 1,100 tanks are being taken out of service.

“For a variety of reasons (those tanks) are already taken out of service or are in the process of being taken out of service because the inspection has deemed them not fit for service,” Huffman said.

Huffman didn’t immediately know how many of those ‘not fit for service’ tanks were in areas of critical concern, near water sources. Huffman said it’s proof the law is working.

“The DEP did not go out and make these determinations. The tank owners themselves, as a result of wanting to comply with Senate bill 373, made those determinations,” he said.

The DEP is willing to be patient with the owners of some 20,000 registered tanks who missed the Jan. 1 inspection deadline.

“Yes, the date has come and gone and yes, that’s a problem,” Huffman admitted on Talkline Monday. “There is a time and place to deal with that. But right now, we think it’s most important that we get these inspections done and we get these tank owners through the process.”

Huffman said there will be a point with those who haven’t had their tanks inspected will face a problem with the DEP. He said that will be in a matter of weeks, not months. Huffman said the DEP itself has a number of above ground storage tanks that the agency is also working to get inspected. He said the agency missed the deadline with some of those tanks.

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  • Stupid Hillbillies

    The state has found a new source of revenue. Sounds a lot like the EPA Gestapo weapon in the m0r0n's War on Coal. The jerseys may be a different color, but the game plan is the same. Socialist U. playing the same game.

  • Leonard

    Are you referencing their storm water runoff permit ?

  • Ted Jr.

    If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts we’d all have a wonderful Christmas.

  • Aaron

    Had Freedom been in compliance with the current law, the contamination would have never occurred. It is a shame that government responds with a knee jerk, poorly written law to a tragic event when current law newly requires government to enforce their own regulations.

  • duh

    You people realize that some of these tanks actually hold drinking water don't you? Do you not see the idiocy in this?

  • Ted Jr.

    It is good to see business self regulate.

  • san Juan jarvis

    WV allowed a major catastrophic public chemical exposure to occur before waking up.....what is new with this state...

  • Capito

    Shut them all down. NOW!!!!!