WV Governor Signs Bill To Scale Back Law After Chemical Spill

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill to scale back a law safeguarding against chemical spills from aboveground tanks.

A January 2014 chemical spill that contaminated drinking water for 300,000 residents for days prompted the legislation.

The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the bill, which will deregulate about 36,000 aboveground storage tanks from the tank law. Currently, about 48,000 tanks are registered under the law.

About 12,000 tanks within a certain distance of water supplies, or containing hazardous materials, will remain regulated.

Inspections will be every three years, instead of annually under current law.

Some lawmakers and industry groups said current law goes too far. Tomblin said Friday that the bill takes reasonable steps.

Environmental groups opposed reducing the protections, saying they hardly had time to take effect.