Ziemkiewicz emphasizes better enforcement will help prevent future chemical spills like Elk River

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March 13, 2015 by Tracy Novak, NRCCE

Morgantown, W.Va. – Glynis Board of West Virginia Public Broadcasting recently interviewed Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, in her story entitled, “Four Concerns About Tank Legislative Rollback.”

The story highlighted bills making their way through the WV House and Senate aiming to roll back regulations on storage tanks.  New regulations were put into place in 2014 in the wake of last year’s Freedom Industries chemical spill in the Elk River that contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people in and around the state’s capital city.

In the broadcast, Ziemkiewicz said he presented information to the WV Legislature on how to prevent future catastrophic emergencies like the Freedom Industries spill. “My point was that we had rules on the books.  One was federal legislation 40 CFR 112 which is the Oil Spill Control and Countermeasures Act.  That requires all tanks that are 1,320 gallons have secondary containment and regular inspections.  It’s a nation-wide rule,” he said.

Ziemkiewicz pointed out that the MCHM spill was really the result of inadequate enforcement.

See more on this story at WVPB.


CONTACT:   Paul Ziemkiewicz; West Virginia Water Research Institute
304.293.6958; Paul.Ziemkiewicz@mail.wvu.edu

WVWRI is a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University.