After months of delay on the legislation, West Virginia has approved rules modifying the AST and Horizontal Well Acts. The bonding /financial assurance section has amended the requirements to focus on ensuring corrective actions in the even of an accidental release. Pursuant to the Rules, The aboveground storage tank surety bond or other financial assurance must be “submitted in accordance with the AST Act and the Rule on a form prescribed by the Secretary, the obligee named as the State of West Virginia, and must remain in effect for the operational life of the
tank or tank facility. The mechanisms used to demonstrate financial assurance must be conditioned upon the operator complying with the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (AST), any rules promulgated thereunder, any order of the Secretary.” The aboveground storage tank bond must guarantee that the funds necessary to meet the costs of containment and corrective action for an accidental release will be available whenever needed.
For Level 1 ASTs, an amount equal to twenty cents per gallon of the aggregate storage capacity for the tank or tank facility, at a minimum of five thousand dollars ($5,000). For Level 2 ASTs, an amount equal to ten cents per gallon of the aggregate storage capacity for the tank or tank facility, at a minimum of five thousand dollars ($5,000). The surety bond must be filed with the State
Treasurer which will hold the bond in trust for the purpose for which it was executed. The surety may cancel the bond by sending notice of cancellation by certified mail to the owner or operator and to the Secretary one hundred twenty (120) days in advance of cancellation. Section 13.1.g states that, “If, for any reason, an owner or operator fails to maintain proper surety bonding, the Secretary shall issue a cease and desist order and revoke the certificate to operate, and the owner or operator becomes fully liable for the amount of the bond.” The surety bond is a FORFEITURE obligation AND must contain a “confession of judgment”.
The Rules also addresses the specific qualifications of a corporate surety issuing an aboveground storage tank surety bond. “The Secretary will not accept the bond of a surety company that has failed or unduly delayed, as determined by the Secretary, in making payment on a forfeited surety bond. The surety company issuing the bond must, at a minimum, be among those listed as acceptable sureties on federal bonds in Circular 570 of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Secretary will accept surety bonds only from an insurer licensed to do business in West Virginia and signed by an appropriate official of the surety as determined by the Secretary. If the principal place of business of the surety is outside of West Virginia, the surety above ground storage tank surety bond must also be signed by an authorized resident agent of the surety. Further, the Secretary will not accept surety bonds from a surety company when the total bond liability to the Department for bonds filed by the owner or operator, the principal, and related parties exceed the surety company’s single risk limit.
Much of the registration and management of AST accounts may be accomplished WV DEP AST log in however applications and accompanying financial assurance documents are initially received and processed by the AST office:
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Attn.: Aboveground Storage Tank Surety Bond & Registration
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
West Virginia surety leader, Surety One, Inc. is an environmental surety specialist. We offer above ground tank and closure /postclosure surety bond capacity for all phases and classes of operation. Regardless of your financial assurance needs and geographic footprint, we will offer terms. Visit us at SuretyOne.com, call (800) 373-2804, or email Underwriting@SuretyOne.com for assistance with your West Virginia aboveground storage tank financial assurance need.
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