SB373, 'water bill,' completes legislative process
After dominating most of the 2014 regular legislative session, Senate Bill 373, which became commonly known as the "water bill," passed the full Legislature just after 10 p.m. March 8.
Members of the House of Delegates agreed with changes the Senate made to the bill to quickly and quietly pass it along to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Tomblin had indicated earlier in the evening he was happy the full Legislature could work together to pass a bill that came out of the Jan. 9 chemical leak in Charleston.
The bill will require all above ground storage tanks in zones of critical concern be registered with the DEP and be subjected to annual inspection by the DEP and independent engineers.
In addition to developing a reasonable regulatory structure, the bill also requires the Bureau for Public Health to gather medical information to conduct long-term medical surveillance.
It will also require West Virginia American Water to install an early monitoring system at its Elk River plant and require all water utilities have a written source water protection plan in place to prepare for emergency situations-specifically the discharge of a contaminant into the water supply.