WV LEGISLATOR PROPOSES ROLL-BACK ON TANK RULES AGAIN - Congress Proposing Drilling 40 National Parks, Reduction Of Stream Protection Rules

(02/15/2017)

by Kalea Gunderson WCHS

MCHM is the chemical that tainted the water for 300,000 people 3-years ago. In the wake of the crisis, lawmakers passed a bill requiring stringent inspections of chemical storage tanks. That law was then rolled back in 2015, and now lawmakers are trying to scale it back again.

Delegate Roger Hanshaw plans to introduce a new bill that will change the way oil and gas tanks are inspected.

Those not near a public water supply would be exempt. He says it will help ease the workload on the Department of Environmental Protection.

Hanshaw says he is glad the DEP follows inspection laws, but for certain tanks, it is a waste of resources.

“We have told the agency to go out and inspect things that are not a problem. We want those tanks that pose a problem inspected too, we want those tanks which are near a public water supply inspected too, We just want the agency to be able to do its job,” Hanshaw said.

Karan Ireland, with Advocates for a Safe Water System, says all tanks are downstream from something and says this will put public health at risk.

She hasn't seen the specifics of this latest proposal but says after the water crisis, a lot of people came out and weighed in on the initial bill that was passed, and she's disappointed that now that the pressure is off, the regulations are being gutted.

The DEP is now rolling back high noise and lighting rules on extractable industries that had protected landowners and neighborhoods.

ENVIRONMENTAL RULES FADING

By Bob Weaver

Donald Trump's Republican Congress wants the National Parks to become a drilling and fracking free-for-all, with House Republicans having introduced a bill that would allow oil and gas drilling in more than 40 National Parks.

Drilling and extracting from National Parks has long been a battle, fought against by USA's nature lovers, conservationists and environmentalists.

Among the forty National Parks to be opened for extraction, with the bill standing a good chance to be passed, is Grand Teton, the Everglades and Mesa Verde National Park.

The Sierra Club has worked for 125 years to protect these natural treasures.

The Republican-controlled House in Washington has approved a measure to scuttle an Obama-era regulation that prevents coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams.

All West Virginia senators, congressmen and most of the Republican-led state house members are for the roll-back to return coal to its glory days.


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