Talking points on DEP’s draft aboveground storage tank rule

Comments on the DEP’s aboveground storage tank rule are due Friday, Oct 24th to or by mail to:
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection – Public Information Office
AST Emergency Rule Comments
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304

Below are some talking points about the draft rule, provided by the WV Rivers Coalition:

1. We appreciate the expanded public input process on the aboveground storage tank (AST) rule.
2. We can support a risk-based approach to AST regulations that adequately protects human health and the environment.

  • No blanket industry exclusions.
  • Level 2 ASTs pose a risk and should be strongly regulated under the AST Act.
  • ASTs containing “food-grade” fracking materials should not be classified as Level 3.

3. The rule should apply to the entire AST system, including pipes and dispensing systems.
4. The AST registry should be accessible to the public.
5. The AST program should be adequately funded and staffed through AST registration fees.
6. Modify the rule to allow site-specific conditions in the AST certificate to operate, and provide opportunity for public notice and comment.
7. We support the rule’s:

  • Additional siting requirements for ASTs located within zones of critical concern or on karst topography, and ASTs that pose a threat to public health or the environment;
  • Detailed operation and maintenance requirements;
  • Requirement for Spill Prevention Response Plans to be submitted to DEP and made part of the public record;
  • Detailed requirements for corrective actions in response to confirmed or threatened releases;
  • Detailed requirements for AST design, construction and installation;
  • Detailed requirements for corrosion and deterioration prevention;
  • Detailed requirements for release prevention, leak detection and secondary containment – however, secondary containment deficiencies should be required to be corrected immediately.
  • Detailed requirements for nonoperational, change in service and closures of AST system; and
  • Delivery prohibitions for ASTs not in compliance.

8. Significantly increase the bond amounts so that they cover the potential liability that would be incurred if the AST fails. Under the current draft, the bond amount for the Freedom Industries’ 48,000-gallon MCHM tank would have been $9,600 – nowhere near the millions of dollars required to fully remediate the site and to compensate the people and businesses left without clean drinking water.

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