CHARLESTON, W.V. – Senate Majority Leader John Unger (D-Berkeley), lead sponsor of SB 373, is pleased that Governor Tomblin has signed into law the bill that protects the state’s water resources.
“Senate Bill 373 was introduced due to a chemical spill in January in Kanawha County that left 300,000 West Virginians without clean drinking water,” says Unger. “It allows the Department of Environmental Protection to register and inspect facilities to make sure that what happened earlier this year will never happen again anywhere in West Virginia. This will protect the water in regards to any kind of chemicals or other types of liquids that could end up in our water resources.”
The chemical spill, originating from the property of Freedom Industries along the Elk River, caused a nine county State of Emergency and a Do Not Use water order.
Majority Leader Unger says the protections in the proposed bill are not only for surface water, but groundwater as well.
“We want to ensure that every West Virginia resident has access to clean drinking water and that as lawmakers, we are doing everything possible to safeguard the safety of our water resources. I am pleased that Governor Tomblin has signed into law this important piece of legislation to ensure that the proper regulations are in place to protect our water resources, and ensure that every West Virginia resident has access to clean drinking water.”
Majority Leader Unger says West Virginians expect their elected officials to choose public interests over partisanship and special interests to do what is right, rather than what is politically expedient.
“There are no limits to what can be achieved with the courage to set aside our differences, look for common ground and join together to do what is right for the people of West Virginia. I believe we showed that with the passage and the Governor’s signing of SB 373.”