§22-17-2. Declaration of policy and purpose.

The Legislature recognizes that large quantities of petroleum and hazardous substances are stored in underground storage tanks within the state of West Virginia and that emergency situations involving these substances can and will arise which may present a hazard to human health, safety or the environment. The Legislature also recognizes that some of these substances have been stored in underground storage tanks in the state in a manner insufficient to protect human health, safety or the environment. The Legislature further recognizes that the federal government has enacted Subtitle I of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, as amended, which provides for a federal program to remove the threat and remedy the effects of releases from leaking underground storage tanks and authorizes federal assistance to respond to releases of petroleum from underground storage tanks. The Legislature declares that the state of West Virginia desires to produce revenue for matching the federal assistance provided under the federal act; to create a program to control the installation, operation and abandonment of underground storage tanks and to provide for corrective action to remedy releases of regulated substances from these tanks. Therefore, the Legislature hereby enacts the West Virginia underground storage tank act to create an underground storage tank program and to assume regulatory primacy for such federal programs in this state.