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Report: W.Va. Water Intakes at Risk from Thousands of Tanks

Dave Mistich
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A new report says drinking water sources in West Virginia are at risk of contamination from thousands of aboveground storage tanks.

The report says the greatest risk is posed by 3,167 tanks near and upstream from surface drinking water intakes. A 2014 state law requires extra safeguards for tanks in these areas.

The report says more than 21,000 other tanks outside these areas also could contaminate water intakes. These include 19,133 tanks 1 to 5 miles from groundwater intakes and 2,143 tanks 1 to 5 miles from surface water intakes.

Environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies and the nonprofit West Virginia Rivers Coalition released the report Thursday. The findings are based on their analysis of more than 47,000 tanks registered with the state by mid-December.

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