RD532 - Chemical Storage in the Commonwealth: An Evaluation of Existing Statutory and Regulatory Tools – November 2016

Executive Summary:
The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, the State Health Commissioner, and the State Coordinator of Emergency Management were directed to evaluate existing statutory and regulatory tools regarding chemical storage in the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Chapter 241 of the 2015 Acts of Assembly (herein also referred to as “Senate Bill 811”).

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Health, and Virginia Department of Emergency Management coordinated in the drafting of this evaluation. The evaluation focuses primarily on existing state and federal laws and regulations. This includes state regulations that address various elements of chemical storage, state programmatic frameworks to identify areas of oversight addressing chemical storage, and federal programs which address chemical storage including those that may not be implemented at the state level. Other state programs that have some relationship to regulating chemical storage were included as well as regulatory programs from other states that have undertaken chemical storage specific regulatory action.

Additional considerations including federal regulatory action underway regarding chemical storage and management of information particularly in light of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act are included.

The evaluation also highlights distinctions between reporting quantities for the purposes of Senate Bill 811 and identifies potential gaps in the existing framework and recommendations should further legislative action be considered.