WV DEP Releases 'Tank Rule' for Public Comment Through Jan. 21
The State Journal
25 December 2014
By Mandi Cardosi, Government Reporter
A process that has been in the making since the Legislature's
passing of the "tank bill" is beginning to come to a close, right
before the anniversary of the chemical spill that affected 300,000
Kanawha Valley residents.
A legislative rule required by Senate Bill 373, also known as
the aboveground storage tank bill, for the West Virginia
Department of Environmental Protection to file with the Secretary
of State's office is now out for public comment.
The WV DEP proposed the 90-page Aboveground Storage Tank rule (47
CSR 63), which was filed this week, and can be found [on the DEP
DEP has asked for public help every step of the way in drafting
the bill. Previously, DEP Secretary Randy Huffman said he wanted
the process to be “as open and inclusive as possible.”
“If you have an idea, please feel free to submit it. Your
suggestions will help us achieve our goal of making these rules as
thorough and as effective in safeguarding public health and the
environment as possible,” Huffman said at the beginning of the
summer before the rule was drafted.
Among other things, the rule governs the construction,
installation, upgrading, use, inspection, maintenance, testing,
and closure of aboveground storage tanks. It also establishes
three levels for tank regulation based upon potential risk to
public health or the environment.
This month, Huffman said only about 8 percent of the 50,000 tanks
are in the zone of critical concern, a term created to identify
the tanks within a “source water protection area or public surface
water influenced groundwater supply source.”
The rule also says tank owners or operators of an aboveground
storage tank located “in a zone of critical concern shall annually
obtain and annually update the contact information.”
Lawmakers have discussed the possibility of reviewing SB 373 this
upcoming session in order to get rid of what they say could be
Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, said he would advise legislators to
make sure the bill's intent remains if there would be changes. New
Republican leaders including upcoming Senate President Bill Cole,
R-Mercer, said after the Nov. 4 elections, lawmakers would be
willing to work with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin should he wish to make
changes to the legislation.
Public comments for the rule, will be taken through Jan. 21, 2015.
Also on Jan. 21, officials will hold a 6 p.m. public hearing at
the DEP headquarters in Kanawha City.
Written comments may be mailed to:
WVDEP Public Information Office
Aboveground Storage Tank Comments
601 57th Street, SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Comments can also be emailed, by Jan. 21, 2015, to
WVDEPtankrules@wv.gov. Be sure to write Aboveground Storage Tank
Comments in the subject line.