Though the official deadline for registration of aboveground storage tanks in West Virginia has passed, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection is continuing to accept electronic registrations of tanks. As of October 14th, 47,557 tanks had been registered, in an initiative to create a database of all aboveground tanks in the state. The initiative was spurred by a storage tank earlier this year in the capital city of Charleston, which left the city’s 300,000 residents without potable water for more than a week.
The next deadline to meet is December 3rd, however, this deadline applies only to storage tanks that are located in zones of critical concern, which are those zones where a leak would threaten a water supply. By December 3rd, owners/operators of these tanks (classified as Level 1 tanks) must develop a spill prevention response plan. Then, by January 1st, Level I tanks must be inspected by a certified engineer. Level II and Level III tanks are classified as less dangerous to the public and do not have to meet the same standards as Level I tanks. Instead, these tanks only need to be inspected by someone holding an inspection certification approved by the state.
So far, between 6-7 percent of registered aboveground storage tanks have been classified as Level I tanks.