Report: New Regs Would Cover Only 0.2 Percent of Storage Tanks in West Virginia

It was reported earlier this week that lawmakers in West Virginia are considering a bill that would exempt all but 1,000 out of nearly 50,000 above-ground storage tanks from regulations that were passed in the wake of the Freedom Industries chemical spill, but new analysis shows it's much worse than that.

According to the Charleston Gazette, only 90 storage tanks would be covered under the new legislation.

As few as 90 of the thousands of chemical storage tanks across West Virginia might be covered by new state Department of Environmental Protection safety requirements passed after last year’s Freedom Industries leak, if legislation introduced this week passes, according to a new analysis of DEP data.

That’s 0.2 percent of the nearly 44,000 tanks listed in a database the DEP put together with owner registrations.

To illustrate how ill advised this is, the Freedom Industries facility (pictured above) that released chemicals into the water supply last year would not have been covered by this new legislation.

Furthermore, many of the tanks that would be exempt under the new law have failed inspection in the past.

The report noted that, of the tanks that would be excluded from the law under the bill, nearly 1,100 of them failed an initial inspection and were listed by their owners as “not fit for service.”

There's nothing funny about this yet for some reason I can't stop laughing.

It's quintessentially American in its stupidity and shortsightedness.