UPDATED: House and Senate Judiciary Committees considering bill to gut SB 373

A bill was introduced today to gut the 2014 Senate Bill 373 (the Aboveground Storage Tank Act) by limiting the regulations only to tanks larger than 10,000 gallons and within the “zone of critical concern” of a drinking water intake. HB 2574 also eliminates the requirement that such tanks be inspected annually. And it entirely […]

One year out. Who is serious about fixing the water crisis?

The one year anniversary of the January 9, 2014 disaster has passed.  Back on January 14, 2014, I posted a piece about the crisis over on The Power Line about the situation.  I wrote in that post how our state’s leaders are not really serious about creating safe communities in our state in which people […]

PSC investigation of WV American Water on hold – again

The PSC’s investigation of WV American Water is once again on hold due to a shortage of Commissioners. Wednesday was Commissioner McKinney’s last day; McKinney had announced his retirement earlier in December. McKinney’s term had actually expired in 2011, but state law had allowed him to continue serving because the Governor did not appoint anyone […]

What are our candidates planning to do about the water?

The election is less than one month away.  There are several candidate forums happening in the next few weeks (here and here, for examples).  If you’re going to any of these events, here are some important questions to ask: 1. What changes do you think need to be made to Senate Bill 373? Several legislators, led […]

Governor and legislative leaders begin SB 373 roll back

Last Tuesday, Ken Ward described the attack being mounted on the early phases of the implementation of SB 373, the above ground storage tank and source water protection bill passed unanimously by the WV Legislature in its 2014 session.  That attack seems to be coming primarily from Senate President Jeff Kessler and House Speaker Tim […]

Reclassification of Kanawha River could be good, or it could be really bad

In yesterday’s Charleston Gazette, Ken Ward reported that the WV DEP is considering new legislation to reclassify the Kanawha River below Belle as a Category A water course.  The Category A classification would mean that rules would be tightened on all water discharges into the river such that the river’s water quality would meet drinking […]

Citizen’s guide to SB 373

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition has published a short “Citizen’s Guide” to SB 373, available here. The guide “highlights most major changes the bill made to state law and important next steps for citizen involvement.”

Gov. Tomblin signs SB 373

On Tuesday, Gov. Tomblin signed Senate Bill 373 into law.  This is not huge news, because the bill could become law without his signature, but now it’s official. In his story, the Charleston Gazette’s Eric Eyre pointed to the real issue before us now: Lawmakers left many significant decisions — such as the details of […]

SB 373′s secrecy provision

SB 373 reads like it hasn’t quite made up its mind about how involved it really wants the public to be in protecting our water. The final version of SB 373 still contains a problematic confidentiality provision: The Department of Environmental Protection shall provide a copy of the compiled list of contaminants in each zone […]

What’s next for SB 373?

Now that the legislature has passed SB 373, it’s up to the DEP to make the rules to implement the bill. These rules must then be approved by the legislature in next year’s session. The agency rule-making process typically goes on outside of the public eye, and it is where industry will have another chance […]