posted Mar 5, 2015, 5:02 AM by Kathleen Tyner
updated Mar 5, 2015, 5:04 AM
Come to Tank Bill Public Hearing
Tell our legislators not to roll back water protections in the Aboveground Storage Tank Act!
When: Friday, March 6, 8:30am
Where: House Chamber of the State Capitol
Why: For legislators to hear citizens’ concerns about rolling back water protections in SB 423
Anyone can sign up to speak at the hearing. Here are some tips:
Can’t come to the hearing? You can still email and call House Judiciary members with your message. Find their contact info here.
- Get to the House Chamber 10-15 min. early and sign up to speak
- Prepare to only have about 1-2 minutes to speak
- You can bring a copy of your comments to submit for the record. You can also bring friends’ written comments and submit them on their behalf.
Here are some facts about Senate Bill 423:
- SB 423 exempts approximately 36,000 tanks from regulation under the Act. Roughly one-third of the deregulated tanks are located within 1,000 feet of a river or stream. These tanks should continue to be regulated under the Act as they are most likely to contaminate water if they should fail.
- SB 423 rolls back inspection requirements. Self-inspections should occur at least annually by qualified personnel. Tanks close to water intakes need to be inspected by DEP annually.
- SB 423 rolls back Spill Prevention and Response Plan requirements. SPRPs need to be submitted to DEP and updated every 3 years, and must include info on stored chemicals.
- SB 423 rolls back permit requirements. Individual permits for tanks closest to drinking water intakes should be required.
- SB 423 creates an alternative means of compliance for nearly all tanks through modifications of existing permits or plans. SB 423 gives the DEP Secretary full discretion as to what standards are sufficient to protect waters of the state. It needs to explicitly require that modifications to permits or plans be as stringent as the standards in the Act so as not to create a loophole in regulation of ASTs. Public notice of these modifications should be required.
- SB 423 creates new restrictions on disclosure of information that could prevent water utilities from being aware of threats to the water system. Information about the location and contents of tanks, including data on stored chemicals, must be shared with water utilities.
- SB 423 does not incorporate DEP’s rule to implement the Act and would cause another year to go by without AST regulations in place - other than the initial registration, initial spill plans, and initial inspections.