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Legislation Proposed In WV To Regulate Chemicals

Reported: Jan. 20, 2014 6:01 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 20, 2014 6:52 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin are urging tighter regulation on chemical storage facilities after a spill contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people.

The Democrats announced complementary state and federal proposals Monday for storing chemicals in above-ground tanks. Freedom Industries' Jan. 9 chemical spill in Charleston prompted the bills.

Tomblin wants a new state regulatory program with annual inspections of above-ground chemical tanks. The governor's bill would require water systems for the public to have emergency plans in case spills occur.

Facilities would self-report locations, construction and maintenance of tanks, and file annual reports.

Manchin's federal bill would mandate state inspections and emergency plans. Another Manchin bill would include more testing on little-known chemicals, such as the coal-cleaning agent that polluted the Elk River.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bob Aaron) -- In the wake of this crisis, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Joe Manchin are urging tighter regulation on above ground chemical storage facilities.

Tomblin introduced legislation Monday to regulate and inspect above ground storage tanks. They had fallen thru a regulatory crack, made apparent when a spill by Freedom Industries tainted water supplies for 300,000 West Virginians. Wets Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler and House Speaker Tim Miley agree legislation is needed.

The governor's bill would inspect the sites, require certified tank testing, and demand water plants have an emergency plan to deal with spills.

Manchin is pushing federal legislation that would get the feds to determine the risk of mystery chemicals like crude MCHM and set minimum state standards.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller is also backing the changes in federal law.



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