WASHINGTON (AP & WSAZ) -- After chemicals oozed into West Virginia's biggest water system, federal and state officials are demanding investigations and tighter laws to safeguard against future spills.
At the federal level, the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act would create tighter regulatory control of chemical companies. It was drafted by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
Key principles in the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act include:
West Virginia state officials want an inventory of all chemical storage sites in the state.
There's also demand for forcing facilities to stay away from the banks of water bodies, particularly ones providing drinking water.
And lawmakers want facilities like those run by Freedom Industries, which was responsible for the spill in Charleston, to be subjected to environmental inspections.
The state House has cleared a bill with grants, loans and tax relief for small businesses hurt by a days-long water-use ban. Delegates could also consider an income tax break for the affected nine-county region's taxpayers.