Associated Press Published

State Senate Majority Leader: Governor's Bill Shields Chemical Industry


A West Virginia Senate leader thinks the governor’s proposal to prevent chemical spills caters to industry interests.

Senate Majority Leader John Unger says Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s bill doesn’t do enough to register and inspect above-ground storage tanks.
     Tomblin’s measure responds to Freedom Industries’ Jan. 9 spill, which contaminated the water supply for 300,000 people.
     Unger took issue with Tomblin’s bill on Tuesday because it regulates just above-ground tanks deemed too close to a water supply. It also would only regulate sites holding chemicals above a certain risk level.
     Unger is proposing regulation of all above-ground tanks.
     Unger says all of the state’s water needs to be protected. He says sites far from public water systems need to be regulated, since people in rural areas rely on wells using groundwater.