CHARLESTON — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined legislators and cabinet members to sign Senate Bill 373, which outlines a reasonable regulatory structure to ensure all above ground storage tanks are meeting standards to ensure tank integrity, on Tuesday, April 1.
“The Elk River chemical spill has made us all – in our communities and across our nation – take a closer look at our infrastructure, especially in areas of critical concern around our waterways,” Gov. Tomblin said. “I applaud the hard work of our Legislature on the development of this bill. Together, we passed this very important piece of legislation with all West Virginians in mind.”
Senate Bill 373 requires all above ground storage tanks in areas of critical concern be registered with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) and be subject to annual inspections by the WVDEP and independent engineers.
In addition to developing a reasonable regulatory structure, this legislation also requires the Bureau for Public Health to engage federal agencies in gathering medical information to assess potential long-term health effects associated with the spill.
The bill also requires West Virginia American Water to install an early monitoring system at its Elk River plant and requires all water utilities have a written source water protection plan in place to prepare for emergency situations—specifically the discharge of a contaminant into the water supply.