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WV Rivers Water Policy Updates - Tank Bill Under Attack, Water Unites Us, Tracking Water

posted Feb 6, 2015, 8:25 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Feb 6, 2015, 8:26 AM ]

Bills to Gut Tank Law Unleashed

A new report from WV Rivers and Downstream Strategies finds that HB 2574 and SB 423 would exclude nearly 44,000 tanks from regulation.

This week brought the awaited introduction of industry-backed bills to severely gut the Aboveground Storage Tank Act passed in SB 373 last year. HB 2574 and SB 423 (identical bills) go to the extreme inexempting 99.8% of tanks from regulation. Even Freedom Industries’ tanks would be excluded.

We provided our analysis to the Legislature yesterday which included the following major impacts of the proposed legislation:
  • Approximately 75% of registered tanks are associated with the oil and gas industry and would be excluded.
  • All tanks outside of a zone of critical concern would be excluded. This leaves out 21,264 tanks located within 1,000 feet of a river or stream.
  • Tanks subject to less stringent standards than the Aboveground Storage Tank Act now requires would be excluded. Freedom Industries’ tanks would not have been regulated simply because a Groundwater Protection Plan was required.
  • Of tanks that would be excluded, almost 1,100 tanks did not pass their initial inspections due January 1, 2015 and only 58% had been inspected.

Read our release and link to the full report here.

Read today’s Charleston Gazette front page article 

Tell your 
 to reject industry’s tank bills, SB 423 and HB 2574, that go to extremes to gut water protections.

Citizens Stand Strong for Drinking Water Protections

Wednesday brought a significant victory in seeing the Senate Natural Resources Committee delay a vote on rejecting a proposal to reclassify the Kanawha River as “Category A” to protect it as a drinking water supply. It was your contacts and presence that made them think twice about going along with polluters’ interests. This tells us our visibility, calls, emails, and meetings are making a difference! This Committee is expected to reconvene early next week to vote on the bill – SB 167. So we need to keep the pressure on!

Tell Chairman Karnes (304-357-7906 / withdraw his amendment and support DEP’s proposal to remove the Category A exemption for the Kanawha River.

Find our Category A Fact Sheet 
Water Press Conference Monday – Be There!

Members of the WV Safe Water Roundtable are organizing a press conference to bring voice to our shared water concerns. We need you present to show that “Water Unites Us”!

When: Monday, February 9 at 10am
Where: State Capitol Building, Room 252M

Tracking Water
Additional water-related bills we’re tracking this week in include:

HB 2333, Public Water Systems: This rule that requires utilities to involve the public in developing source water protection plans cleared its first committee intact. Its next stop is the House Judiciary Committee before it will go to the full House for a vote. Tell your legislators to support HB 2333 and investment in strong source water protection plans.

SB 165, Drill Cuttings Disposal: This rule was again laid over on Wednesday by the Senate Natural Resources Committee to get more information on radioactivity in drill cutting waste. Radioactive elements dissolve in landfill leachate and end up in our water supplies. Tell your legislators to not allow more radioactivity in our landfills.

SB 357 HB 2566 “Coal Jobs and Safety Act”: This bill relieves coal companies from meeting water quality standards in their pollution permits and drastically weakens the aluminum water quality standard. This week the House Energy Committee held a public hearing where miners and clean water advocates expressed opposition to the bill. Read more here. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill early next week. Tell your legislators to oppose these bills that will increase pollution in our waters.