WVDEP begins registration period for aboveground tanks - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WVDEP begins registration period for aboveground tanks

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About five months after the Freedom Industries chemical leak into the Elk River, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection opened the registration period for aboveground storage tanks.

The information is required from all tank owners in order to comply with state law.

Any tanks that are subject to the new law, Senate Bill 373 (Aboveground Storage Tank Act) not registered with the DEP by Oct. 1 will be out of compliance with the law. The bill was drafted in response to the leak of over 10,000 gallons of MCHM, with original estimations at 7,500 gallons.  

The legislation gives DEP until July 6 to get the registration and inventory process ready, but the agency worked to launch registration early so that tank owners would have more time to submit the required information.

The law went into effect on June 6. It applies to all aboveground storage tanks located in the state that are large enough to hold at least 1,320 gallons of fluid, are in one place for more than 60 days, are 90 percent or more above ground and are not considered “process vessels” as defined by the legislation. One common example of “process vessels,” which are exempt from the program, would be sewage treatment tanks.

Registration information is being collected online through the agency’s Electronic Permitting/Electronic Submission System (ESS) so data can quickly and easily be stored and accessed.

Companies that already use ESS for permit applications and/or discharge monitoring reporting can use their existing user IDs and passwords. Tank owners who do not already have ESS user IDs and passwords need to visit the DEP’s Aboveground Storage Tank web page for instructions on how to gain access to the system.

The page, dep.wv.gov/tanks, also includes a complete explanation of the program requirements and deadlines, a survey to help tank owners determine if they need to register and links to useful information such as frequently asked questions, nationally recognized standards for tanks, and public input received by the agency about the rules for the program.