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Unger introduces bill to protect waterways

By Staff | Jan 24, 2014

Senate Majority Leader John Unger (D-Berkeley) introduced a bill requiring that all above-ground storage facilities for liquids be registered and inspected. This legislation is due to a chemical spill last week in Kanawha County that left 300,000 West Virginians without clean drinking water.

“Senate Bill 373 will allow the Department of Environmental Protection to register and inspect these facilities to make sure that what happened last week will never happen again anywhere in West Virginia,” saidUnger. “This will protect the water in regards to any kind of chemicals or other types of liquids that could end up in our water resources.”

The chemical spill, originating from the property of Freedom Industries along the Elk River, caused a nine county State of Emergency and a Do Not Use water order.

Unger says the protections in the proposed bill are not only for surface water, but groundwater as well.

“We want to ensure that every West Virginia resident has access to clean drinking water and that as lawmakers, we are doing everything possible to safeguard the safety of our water resources.”

SB 373 was double referenced to the Senate Natural Resources and Judiciary committees.