Responding to the Freedom Industries chemical spill
The DEP released its draft rule to regulate aboveground storage tanks under SB 373. The final version of the rule will likely be released in December, before the 2015 legislative session. According to DEP’s website:
Members of industry groups, environmental groups and other members of the public who asked to be identified as stakeholders in the rulemaking process earlier this year are invited to a working meeting on Oct. 1 to discuss the draft rule and ways to enhance its effectiveness.
Any other members of the public who would like to offer suggestions on ways to improve the rule can email those comments, by Oct. 24, 2014, to
WVDEPtankrules@wv.gov or mail them to:
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection – Public Information Office
AST Emergency Rule Comments
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
SB 373 left many of the details of the regulatory program for aboveground storage tanks up to the DEP, and this rule explains how the DEP plans to regulate them. As the DEP indicated a couple weeks ago, it has decided to divide tanks into three categories based on their potential to contaminate waterways and harm the public. The DEP does not appear to have added any major new exemptions to the tank rules, but it will exempt Level 3 tanks (the lowest risk tanks) that are already covered by federal hazardous waste regulations.
The draft rules do not contain much detail on the financial aspects of the rule. The DEP did not provide any more details about how penalties will be assessed for violating the rule (SB 373 sets maximum penalty amounts, but not minimums). And the last section of the draft rule, “Financial Responsibility Requirements for ASTs [aboveground storage tanks]” is left blank.
We will provide a more detailed analysis of the rules in the coming weeks.