Bill Regulating Tanks, Protecting Water Passes Senate

Jan 28, 2014

The tally board in the Senate shows the vote total for Senate Bill 373.
Credit Ashton Marra

Weeks of questioning, debates and discussions culminated in the Senate Tuesday with a vote on the most watched bill of the session. Senate Bill 373 creates new regulations for above ground storage tanks and more stringent protections of the state’s water.

The bill sets forth provisions for storage site owners and operators, the Department of Environmental Protection and public water distribution systems.

Site Owners:

-    Register tanks with the DEP
-    Provide detailed information about tank’s location, fluid, etc. to DEP, local water systems, and county officials
-    Create Spill Prevention Response Plans in conjunction with county emergency management agencies

Dept. Environmental Protection:

-    Develop a regulatory program
-    Inspect annually tanks within 25 miles upstream of a water intake
-    Certified engineer inspect annually
-    Creates Aboveground Storage Tank Administrative Fund and Leaking Aboveground Storage Tank Response Fund

Public Water Systems:

-    Create Source Water Protection Plans
-    Must contain contingency plans for contamination and secondary water source
-    Submitted to the Bureau of Public Health by July 1, 2015

Many senators stood to speak in support of the bill, asserting this is only the first step in regulating the storage sites.

The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 33-0, with one senator absent.