A new bill requires Fairfax City's tank farm along Pickett Road to meet safety requirements for newer above-ground fuel storage tanks by 2021.
Senators voted 40-0 Thursday in favor of Senate Bill 843, sponsored by Sen. J. Chapman Petersen, D-Fairfax. The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee had unanimously endorsed the measure on Monday.
The bill brings modern environmental standards to tanks built before 1992. Older tanks, for example, will need a “double bottom” to prevent water-contaminating leaks.
Pickett Road Terminal Complex has had only one major spill since 1980 but has experienced minor problems over the past four years.
Late last January, one of four companies that use the tank farm discovered a diesel fuel leak on the property that was contained within the complex.
A fuel tanker flipped over at Pickett and Main Street while leaving the farm at midday on August 28. The incident caused heavy traffic delays. City police, rescue and cleanup crews stopped the mild fuel spill and removed debris from the intersection.
“Despite the good efforts of our state Department of Environmental Quality, it was evident that assembly action was needed to protect the residents of Fairfax City and Mantua which border the tank farm,” Petersen said.
The older tanks would have to meet the higher standards by July 1, 2021. The State Water Control Board would develop the new standards.
Delegate David Bulova, D-Fairfax, is sponsoring companion legislation – House Bill 2103.
Bulova’s measure won unanimous approval Thursday from the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee. It is scheduled for consideration by the full House of Delegates.
Alyx Duckett, Capital News Service, contributed to this report.