|We’re expecting the House Judiciary Committee to take up water rules this Friday, February 5.
Long story short, the regulations on aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) that were passed by the Legislature in the wake of the 2014 Freedom Industry spill have been weakened at every step of the way. We are asking for two amendments that would re-add some of the protections that have been lost:
- Prohibit illegal tanks from receiving delivery of chemicals. Delivery prohibitions make it illegal for additional product to be delivered to an AST if the AST owner/operator fails to pay the required fees, or if secondary containment, bonding, or spill prevention requirements are not met. This is an important mechanism in enforcing AST regulations. Restore the delivery prohibition requirement that was in the July 2015 DEP-approved rule (§47-63-12).
- Consider threats to drinking water and human health in siting new tanks. The Freedom Industries’ disaster revealed the damage dangerous chemicals can cause when stored near drinking water intakes. Special consideration is needed in some cases to protect public health when siting new tanks. Restore DEP discretion in siting new ASTs in Zones of Critical Concern, in karst areas or when DEP determines it poses a threat to human health or the environment (§47-63-4.3.c).
Then there are the water quality standards rules, which include the weakening of standards for aluminum and selenium. Concise water quality talking points by WV Rivers are here.
Please, please contact House Judiciary Committee members and tell them no more rollbacks! We want our waters to be adequately protected.