Associated Press Published

W.Va. Officials Deal With Late Inspections, Problematic Storage Tanks


  State officials haven’t received inspection certifications for 20,000 of 49,000 aboveground tanks due New Year’s Day.

The Department of Environmental Protection says it’s also determining what’s wrong with 80 specific tanks.

Inspections deemed the still-operating tanks unfit for use. They contain hazardous substances, are near water supplies, or both.

The department sent letters Tuesday asking operators to determine tank problems, how to address them, and possible plans to decommission tanks at least temporarily.

DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said the agency can’t formally allow a grace period for tardy tanks. The department is focusing on analyzing data and helping operators submit information, not immediately issuing violations and fines.

A chemical spill last January spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days. Legislators responded with new tank and water system regulations.