Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act. The legislation implements tools that help provide oversight of chemical facilities. It strengthens state’s ability to prevent chemical spills that contaminate water supplies by establishing programs under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The legislation is based on four key principles:
- Requiring regular state inspections of above-ground chemical storage facilities,
- Requiring industry to develop state-approved emergency response plans that meet at least minimum guidelines established in this bill,
- Allow states to recoup costs incurred from responding to emergencies, and
- Ensure drinking water systems have the necessary tools and information to respond to emergencies.
Sen. Manchin said in a press release, “No West Virginian or American should have to worry about the contamination of their water supply from a chemical spill. This common sense bill makes sure all chemicals are appropriately monitored and protects the safety of the water we consume and use every day.”