More Than 1,000 Storage Tanks Unfit for Service in West Virginia

West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection reports that more than 1,000 aboveground storage tanks in the state have been found “not fit for service.” The news comes after the Jan.1 deadline for aboveground storage tanks to have been inspected and certified passed with only about half of the state’s storage tanks having received a certified inspection.

After an aboveground storage tank leak contaminated the drinking water supply for more than 300,000 people in the state last year, West Virginia passed the Above Ground Storage Act in an effort to create higher safety standards and more effectively regulate aboveground storage tanks in the state. One of the provisions of the law is that all storage tanks in the state be registered and receive a certified inspection. This information will be used to create a database of all storage tanks in the state, their statuses, and their location relative to water supplies.

Nearly 50,000 aboveground storage tanks have been registered in the state, but only 28,000 have been inspected. Of these, it has been determined that 1,100 are not fit for service, and will be taken out of service. It’s unknown right now if any of these tanks are in areas near critical water supplies.

The DEP is encouraging aboveground storage tank owners who have not gotten their tanks inspected to do so soon. While the deadline has passed, storage tank owners can still get an inspection and submit the results without penalty, though this will be “in a matter of weeks, not months,” according to the DEP. The DEP is also working to inspect some aboveground storage tanks in the state. More information is available on the DEP’s website.

In other news regarding West Virginia’s new storage tank law, regulators are currently taking public comment on the law. “The comment period will end with a Jan. 21 public hearing at 6 p.m. At DEP’s Charleston headquarters,” according to Insurance Journal.

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