With just two-and-a-half months to go before the aboveground storage tank registration deadline, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is urging tank owners with questions about the process to come forward so they can get their registrations submitted in time. DEP employees are on hand to assist tank owners who are subject to the requirements of a newly enacted law intended to help prevent future leaks such as the one on Jan. 9 that contaminated the drinking water of approximately 300,000 West Virginia residents.
A requirement of Senate Bill 373, which passed the West Virginia Legislature in March, is that all storage tanks located in the state that have the capacity to hold at least 1,320 gallons of liquid, are 90 percent or more above ground and that are at a fixed location for 60 days or more be registered with the DEP by Oct. 1.
The registration period opened June 10. While the DEP expects the number to increase exponentially in the days and weeks ahead, nearly 2,200 tanks have been entered into the DEP online registration system so far. The majority of those are in McDowell County (352 tanks) and Wyoming County (277). Not all of the registration forms for the tanks in the system are complete, however, because many tank owners need to input additional data before formally submitting the documentation.
Information needed for the registration process includes tank location and the liquids being stored, the age of each tank, the material it is constructed of, what sort of secondary containment measures are in place and whether it is regulated by any other state or federal programs.
In addition to the registration requirement, the DEP aboveground storage tank program includes regulatory measures such as annual tank inspection and certifications by qualified registered professional engineers, spill prevention response and corrective action plans, secondary containment and leak detection requirements, emergency public notification plans, signage requirements and other regulations.
The DEP has created a web page with frequently asked questions about the program, contact information for agency employees who can guide tank owners through the registration process and links to other helpful information about the law and its requirements. There is even a survey that tank owners can take to determine if they need to register their tanks. The page can be accessed through a link on the bottom left-hand side of the DEP’s website: www.dep.wv.gov