The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

January 22, 2014

Manchin plans action after chemical spill

To present Chemical Safety Drinking Water Protection Act on Jan. 27

PRINCETON — In the wake of a major chemical spill, a bill addressing state programs protecting water supplies, and setting minimum federal standards for chemical facilities subject to state programs, is being brought before Congress, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Tuesday.

Manchin paid visits to several Mercer County locations Tuesday to hear from local people about issues ranging from the coal industry to a bill he is co-sponsoring with U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California. Boxer serves on the Committee of Environmental and Public Works. This bill, the Chemical Safety Drinking Water Protection Act of 2014, will be presented to Congress on Jan. 27, Manchin said.

“Everybody knows about the water situation,” Manchin said of the Jan. 10 chemical spill at the Elk River near Charleston. The spill affected water supplies for more than 300,000 people.

Manchin said the site of Freedom Industries was a former Pennzoil storage yard that existed for years before a West Virginia American Water plant was constructed nearby. Manchin told the morning audience at the Mercer County Courthouse Annex that he did not know why the plant’s water intake was not placed upstream from the chemical facility.

Above-ground storage tanks are not inspected the same way underground tanks are checked, Manchin said.

“I would assume we were inspecting above-ground storage the way we inspect underground storage, and we didn’t,” he said.

The new act would direct states to use existing source water protection plans developed under the Safe Drinking Water Act to identify facilities that present a risk to drinking water. It would also set minimum standards for chemical facilities subject to a state program. These standards would cover construction, leak detection, spill and overfill requirements, emergency response and combination plans, and notification of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state officials and public water systems of chemicals being stored in a facility.

Manchin said he drank the water at a home he keeps in Charleston and has not experienced any ill effects.

After visiting the new Children's Home Society of West Virginia quarters in Princeton, Manchin spoke with Bluefield residents at the Bluefield Area Arts Center. Concerns about the coal industry and the federal plan known as “Obamacare” were among the topics that were discussed.

The EPA is currently holding coal-fired power plants to extremely high standards that cannot be met, Manchin said.

“They’re asking us to hit figures that technology has not been developed or designed to do,” he stated. “And if you don’t do it, you’re out of compliance. We’ve got a lot of fuel switching to natural gas.”

To address this problem, Manchin said he is introducing legislation that if air emissions from coal generation are going to be regulated, then the basis should best results from clean coal technology.

“We take six of the best plants that have been under commercial load, which means they’ve been producing commercial power for one year,” he said.

Air emissions from these plants would be measured and used as the standard other power plants using coal should meet, Manchin said.

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • Repairs set for I-77 tunnel

    Some lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border where a truck fire occurred are being rerouted for repairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Veterans crisis center coming to Clarksburg

    The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

    July 29, 2014

  • Weekend tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Pleasants and Ritchie counties over the weekend.

    July 29, 2014

  • Rahal: Fund VA reform ‘for our veterans’

     On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.
    Although final details are still in the works, the top two negotiators, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., released a joint statement that said they had “made significant progress toward and agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Attorney general reaches $950,000 settlement with three financial groups

    West Virginia’s attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads