Amended version of Senate Bill 423 moving through legislature

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an amended version of Senate Bill 423. We posted about SB 423 before - the original version would have completely gutted last year’s Aboveground Storage Tank Act, eliminating tens of thousands of tanks (including the Freedom Industries tanks!) from the regulations.

The amended version of Senate Bill 423 is not as destructive as the original bill, but is still less comprehensive than the original Aboveground Storage Tank Act. The amended version:

  • Gets rid of Senate Bill 423′s blanket exemption for the natural gas industry
  • Creates a tiered regulatory structure, in which tanks that are within the “zone of critical concern” of a drinking water intake OR contain hazardous materials OR contain at least 50,000 gallons are categorized as “Level 1″ and are subject to more stringent regulations. Level 2 tanks are those within the “zone of peripheral concern” of a drinking water intake – about twice the size as the zone of critical concern. Tanks outside this area are not regulated.
  • Requires that Level 1 tanks be inspected “at least once every five years” – significantly less than the annual inspections required in the original Act.

This amended bill is expected to pass out of the Senate this week and then be taken up in the House Judiciary Committee.

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