W.Va. Senate passes chemical spill bill - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

W.Va. Senate passes chemical spill bill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia Senate unanimously voted for stronger regulations on above-ground storage tanks after a recent chemical spill in Charleston.

The proposal would require registrations and inspections for most surface-level storage units. Some exemptions exist for farms, water storage, propane and smaller-sized tanks, stormwater and wastewater systems and other categories.

Water systems would need protection plans against contaminants.

With the Senate's 33-0 vote Tuesday, the House of Delegates will now consider the bill.

The bill by Majority Leader John Unger responds to the Jan. 9 Freedom Industries spill, which contaminated 300,000 people's drinking water for days.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin supports the Senate's push.

Unger criticized an earlier bill by the governor for extending regulation only to facilities that could threaten public water systems. The two proposals have been combined.

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