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Legislation proposed to regulate chemicals in W.Va.

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By The Associated Press
Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday proposed tighter regulations for chemical storage facilities because of the spill that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 people.

Tomblin urged passage of a chemical storage regulatory program. The bill aims to address shortcomings that allowed 7,500 gallons of coal-cleaning chemicals to seep into the Elk River on Jan. 9. Freedom Industries, which owned the plant that leaked the chemicals, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The governor's bill, which hasn't been filed yet, would mandate annual inspections of above-ground chemical tanks and would require water systems serving the public to draft emergency plans in case of spills.

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