By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill easing aboveground storage tank regulations was rendered significantly more lenient toward oil and gas tank operators by an amendment added Monday on the floor of the West Virginia House of Delegates.
House Bill 2598 was amended to include tanks closest to public water intakes among those that would be exempted from mandated evaluations and certifications by registered professional engineers or other approved individuals under the state Aboveground Storage Tank Act.
The state defines zones of critical concern — the areas nearest to water intakes — as consisting of a five-hour water-travel time in streams to an intake.
The bill would allow tanks in that category with 210 barrels (8,820 gallons) or less of brine water and other fluids produced in connection with hydrocarbon production, transmission and storage to be self-inspected and self-certified by their owner or operator at least once per year and reported to the state…