Legislation proposed in WV to regulate chemicals

4:31 PM, Jan 20, 2014   |    comments
Workers pump 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process, out of a 48,000-gallon tank at Freedom Industries, a chemical storage facility, in Charleston, W.Va., on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert)
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin are urging tighter regulation on chemical storage facilities after a spill contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people.

The Democrats announced complementary state and federal proposals Monday for storing chemicals in above-ground tanks. Freedom Industries' Jan. 9 chemical spill in Charleston prompted the bills.

Tomblin wants a new state regulatory program with annual inspections of above-ground chemical tanks. The governor's bill would require water systems for the public to have emergency plans in case spills occur.

Facilities would self-report locations, construction and maintenance of tanks, and file annual reports.

Manchin's federal bill would mandate state inspections and emergency plans. Another Manchin bill would include more testing on little-known chemicals, such as the coal-cleaning agent that polluted the Elk River.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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