On October 21, 2014, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State its finalized Interpretive Rule outlining mechanisms for compliance with the imminent deadlines under the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (the “AST Act”), W. Va. Code §§ 22-30-1
et seq., for (1) spill prevention response planning and (2) initial inspection and certification. See 47 C.S.R. 62. The effective date of the Interpretive Rule is November 20, 2014. A copy of the final Interpretive Rule is available for download.
The final Interpretive Rule is very similar to the proposed version of the rule filed on September 9, 2014 for initial public review and comment. The rule’s basic structure and approach are unchanged: the final rule retains the proposed three-tiered approach to categorization of ASTs based on their potential harm to health and the environment, and establishes options for compliance with certain requirements of the AST Act based on these levels. Level 1 ASTs are those ASTs determined by WVDEP to have the highest risk of harm to public health or the environment due to their size, location or contents, and therefore these ASTs are subject to the more rigorous requirements of the AST Act for (1) the submittal of Spill Prevention Response (“SPR”) Plans by December 3, 2014 and (2) the inspection and certification of the tanks by January 1, 2015. Because Level 2 ASTs and Level 3 ASTs have been determined to have a reduced potential to harm public health or the environment, the Interpretive Rule establishes alternative options for compliance with these requirements for owners of these tanks.
The agency did make certain changes to the final Interpretive Rule that are worth noting, however.
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