Associated Press Published

Kessler: Tomblin Rule on Tanks Usurps Legislature


Senate President Jeff Kessler says the governor’s rule to ease inspections in a law regulating aboveground storage tanks undermines the Legislature.

Kessler told the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin should have called a special session instead of proposing the rule. Kessler wanted lawmakers to pass a one-year delay of the Jan. 2015 initial inspection deadline.

The administration’s rule eases inspections for tanks that don’t hold hazardous materials, contain less than 50,000 gallons or aren’t near water supplies. It loosens requirements for tanks holding water and food products like milk. It doesn’t change deadlines.

Tomblin spokesman Chris Stadelman said lawmakers will review rules in the session starting in January.

The law reacts to a January chemical spill that contaminated 300,000 people’s tap water for days.