New Legislation Affecting Storage Tanks

Gas Storage TanksLast month, West Virginia lawmakers introduced legislation that will exempt small oil and gas storage tanks from the Aboveground Storage Tank Act. Under the proposed legislation, about 29,000 of the 42,000 storage tanks in West Virginia will enjoy exemption from the law.

The exemption will mean no need for registration, examinations by an API 653 tank unit inspector, and other tank safety compliances.

Tanks Covered and Exempted

Tanks still covered by the Act will be those located within designated “critical zones” or those within an upstream time of five hours from drinking water intakes. Tanks unqualified under these criteria will be the ones included in the exemption.

Opposition and Compromise

Environmental groups opposed the new legislation, citing the low legal demands on many storage tank owners and the potentially dangerous materials many containers stored. Lawmakers reached a compromise to register all tanks.

Tanks outside the five-hour “critical zones”, however, are part of the exemption from inspections and other requirements. The bill is now in the Senate for consideration.

Affordability and Security

In light of concerns regarding storage tanks and potentially dangerous materials, however, you may soon be able to access improved tank materials if you store liquefied natural gas (LNG). Such improved tank material will be able to ensure safety and security in your facility and the surrounding environment.

Development of a new steel plate for LNG storage tanks yielded a more affordable tank material that contains similar properties to conventional tank material, 9% nickel steel.

Although the new steel plate is still yet to assume standardization and utilization for storage tank constructions in the future, you can expect more cost savings and high safety from tanks made from the new steel plate.

You can watch out for any updates on the passage of the new West Virginia legislation on above ground storage tanks. You can also wait for any news about the new steel plate. For now, you will have to rely on regular API 653 tanks.