Rep. Capito Introduces Clean Water Act Provision

Updated 23 weeks ago Compiled From a Provided Press Release; Edited by HNN
Capito
Capito
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WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) will introduce the Ensuring Access to Clean Water Act, legislation that would require oversight and inspection of chemical storage facilities and aboveground storage tanks.

“Families need to know that the water that comes out of their tap is clean and safe. The chemical spill in Charleston highlighted a number of gaps in existing regulations that must be closed. Chemical storage facilities and aboveground storage tanks must be routinely inspected, particularly if they are located near rivers. Public utilities must know what chemicals are nearby and how to respond should chemicals enter the water system. I urge Congress to pass this critical legislation to ensure that everyone in America has access to clean water in their homes,” Rep. Capito said.

The legislation would require states to create programs to oversee chemical storage facilities and inspect aboveground storage tanks. States without primacy would have programs created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

It would establish minimum requirements for these state oversight and inspection programs, including design standards, leak detection, spill and overfill control, inventory control, emergency response and communication, employee training, lifecycle maintenance, and notice regarding the potential toxicity of stored chemicals.

Inspections would be required at least every three years for tanks located in source water assessment areas, and at least every five years for other tanks.

The legislation would also require a comprehensive inventory of chemical facilities in each state, giving first responders and utilities a full index of chemical storage locations. Public water systems would also be given emergency response plans and an inventory of chemicals at any nearby storage facilities.

It would also:

  • Allow the EPA to offer technical assistance to a state program if the state requests.
  • Mandate that the EPA create a survey of best practices so that states can learn from each other’s successes and failures.
  • Set penalties for violating notice requirements and orders.
  • Provide the owners/operators of public water companies the right to file a civil action or a petition with the state to address the activity of a facility that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health.
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