Chemical Storage Rules Needed Soon

A bill aimed at preventing chemical spills like the disastrous one earlier this year in Kanawha County is moving through the West Virginia Legislature with lightning speed.

That is appropriate. Mountain State residents were right to be upset upon learning neither state nor federal agencies monitor chemical storage tanks such as the one that leaked, contaminating water used by about 300,000 customers.

Some lawmakers worry the proposed new law will be an unnecessary burden on chemical businesses and public water systems. They, too, are right to consider that aspect of the bill.

Still, something needs to be done quickly to reassure West Virginians our water is safe from being tainted by hazardous chemicals. Lawmakers should enact the bill – with a “sunset” provision requiring it be reevaluated later this year.