West Virginia above ground storage legislation
On March 8, 2014, the West Virginia Legislature passed a comprehensive bill, in response to the Jan. 9, 2014 leak of fluid containing 4- Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) from an above ground storage tank into the Elk River upstream from a public water supply intake located in Charleston, West Virginia. On June 6, 2014, the West Virginia Above ground Storage Tank Act becomes law.
Senate Bill 373 creates two new statutes - the “Above ground Storage Tank Water Resources Protection Act” (WV Code Chapter 22, Article 30; the “AST Act”), and the “Public Water Supply Protection Act” (WV. Code Chapter 22, Article 31; the “Water Supply Act”). The bill amends certain provisions of the existing Water Resources Protection and Management Act,W.Va. Code § 22-26-1, et. seq, (the “Water Survey Act”) and substantially expands the existing statute (at WV. Code §§ 16-1-9c and 16-1-9d) governing regulation by the Bureau of Public Health of public water utilities and source water protection standards. Thus the requirement to register and inspect all qualified above ground liquid storage tanks.
- June 6, 2014 - Statute becomes effective
- June 10, 2014 - Registration period opens
- Oct. 1, 2014 - All tanks must be registered
- Dec. 3, 2014 - Spill Prevention Response Plans are due
- Jan. 1, 2015 - Inspections and certification of all ASTs by a qualified inspector like DJA Inspection Service, Inc. will be required
Performance Standards Requirements
Among the performance standards that will be applied to ASTs are:
- Requirements for design, construction and maintenance
- corrosion and release detection and prevention;
- Detailed (tank-specific) “Spill Prevention Response Plans,” including secondary containment for any releases.
- In addition, tank operators will be required to implement systems for early detection of releases and to provide immediate reporting of releases; develop corrective action plans; close and re mediate tank sites in accordance with standards to be developed by the WVDEP
- Have annual inspections conducted (with reports submitted by registered professional engineers like DJA Inspection Service, Inc.
- Provide evidence of adequate financial resources to undertake corrective action.
In proposing these new rules, the WVDEP is required to consider nationally recognized tank standards, such as those issued by the American Petroleum Institute and the Steel Tank Institute, and in complying with them, AST owners and operators are required to consult with industry experts on the development of a “life cycle maintenance schedule.” These and other requirements of the statute (and the regulations to be issued by the WVDEP) will be subject to inspection and enforcement by the WVDEP, with potential penalties of up to $ 25,000 per day per violation, as well as criminal penalties and potential actions by the WVDEP seeking injunctive relief to eliminate continuing violations is imperative. Inspectors like DJA Inspection Service, Inc. can help to insure that owners of ASTs remain in compliance.
Disaster Spawns Regulations
The new legislation requires registration of any tank, if it meets the below listed criteria. Registration can be completed on the West Virginia's Department of Environmental Protection website.
The bill requires that an inventory and registration of above ground storage tanks be completed by Oct. 1, 2014.
- stores more than 1,320 gallons of liquid
- stores liquid at standard temperature and pressure
- is constructed of non carbon materials (including wood, concrete, steel, plastic or fiberglass reinforced plastic)
- has more than 90% of its storage capacity above ground surface
- is not a process vessel
- is a device that remains in one location continuously for more 60 or more days
Requirements for Inspections
- Tanks can be certified by a qualified registered professional engineer regulated and licensed by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineer. DJA Inspection Service, Inc. is a certified inspection service.
- An owner or operator is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per tank per day for each AST that is knowingly not registered.
- Residential and/or farm AST must be registered if they meed the definition of an “above ground storage tank” established in the WV Code §22-30-3(1)
- Any new AST must be Registered and Inspected before it is put into service.
- Annual regulatory inspections performed by DEP will be conducted on ASTs located within the zone of critical concern (ZCC) with a public surface water supply source or a public surface water influenced groundwater supply source.