West Virginia legislators scale back law after spill

Published March 13, 2015 9:45PM (EDT)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — More than a year after chemicals spilled into the drinking water for 300,000 people, state lawmakers have voted to peel back protections to prevent leaky tanks from threatening water supplies again.

The GOP-led House of Delegates on Friday supported pulling about 36,000 aboveground tanks out of a newly established state regulatory program. The Senate has approved a similar bill and the governor has indicated his support for rolling back the law.

Proponents said the old law went too far and could hurt businesses. Opponents said the law hasn't been in effect long enough.

In January 2014, a Freedom Industries tank spilled coal-cleaning chemicals into the water supply for nine counties. Six ex-Freedom officials and the company now face federal charges.

By Jonathan Mattise

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