The Fairfax governor in Virginia in the US, Bob McDonnell, has signed a tank safety bill into law after a number of spills in the local area.
The new law includes regulations for tank farms, such as a requirement where all tanks must be double-hulled in order to stop oil from spilling into the ground.
In the early 1990s, a large underground oil plume was discovered on the Fairfax’s Pickett Road oil tank facility, one of the incidents thought to have prompted the legislation being drawn up. However, the new rules are only to apply to newer storage facilities built after 1992.
The governor received nearly 100 letters and email persuading him to sign the bill into law.
Other politicians supported the move, such as US representative Gerry Connolly, who said: ‘This is a major step forward in our efforts to bring an end to the environmental problems which have plagued the Pickett Road tank farm and endangered residents and the watershed in that area on the border of Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. I applaud Senator Petersen and Delegate Bulova for their tenacious efforts to win approval of their legislation and convince their colleagues in the General Assembly to override Governor McDonnell’s amendments that gutted the intent of the legislation. The Governor also deserves recognition for signing the bill, even after his amendments were rejected and the legislation was returned to its original form.’