Wellhead Protection Program
The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WVBPH) was designated by the Governor as the lead agency responsible for the Wellhead Protection Program (WHPP). West Virginia WHPP was approved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992.
The key to West Virginia's WHPP is the use of existing regulations affecting ground water. The State has several programs currently in place to protect ground water from potential sources of contamination. Some of the programs are National Pollution Discharge elimination System (NPDES), Underground Injection Control (UIC), Underground Storage Tank (UST), Aboveground Storage Tank (AST), Solid Waste Management and the Non-Point Source Program.
In June 1994, the State of West Virginia enacted House Bill 2377, also known as the "Ground-Water Protection Act," to protect the quality of the State ground water. All sources of contamination not previously covered by regulations, are addressed by the Ground-Water Protection Act.
Senate Bill 373, containing the Aboveground Storage Tank Act §22-30 and the Public Water Supply Protection Act §22-31 was approved by the 2014 Legislature and signed into law by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin on April 1, 2014. The law officially took effect on June 6, 2014. The bill required an inventory and registration of aboveground storage tanks, the submittal of spill prevention response plans and certified inspections of tanks. On March 14, 2015, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 423 to amend the Aboveground Storage Tank and Public Water Supply Protection Acts. This amended Act became effective June 12, 2015.
Wellhead Protection consists of three major steps:
- Delineating a Wellhead Area - Area from which water could flow to the source within a five-year time of travel. Area is determined using groundwater models, available technical data and geological setting.
- The Potential Contaminant source Inventory - Survey of past and present activities performed on all properties within the WHPA to identify potential sources of contamination.
- Management and Contingency Planning - The development and implementation of both long and short-term drinking water supply replacements strategies as well as plans to reduce or eliminate potential threats.
The West Virginia WHPP provides various services to the communities. These includes:
- Delineation of the Wellhead Area and review of the wellhead protection plans.
- A review and approval process for the Wellhead Protection Area.
- Track the progress at each community in the Wellhead Protection planning.
- Technical support for the management and contingency phases.