SB239 SUB1 eng
Senate Bill No. 239
(By Senators Bailey, Dempsey, Fanning, Hunter and Harrison)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;
reported February 24, 2005.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §29-29-1, §29-29-2,
§29-29-3, §29-29-4, §29-29-5 and §29-29-6, all relating to
state flood protection planning; providing legislative
findings; defining terms; establishing the State Flood
Protection Planning Council and authorizing certain duties;
establishing State Flood Protection Planning Advisory
Committee and setting forth its duties; and establishing a
Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on Flooding.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §29-29-1, §29-29-2,
§29-29-3, §29-29-4, §29-29-5 and §29-29-6, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 29. FLOOD PROTECTION PLANNING ACT.
§29-29-1. Short title; legislative findings; purpose.
(a) This article may be known and cited as the Flood
Protection Planning Act.
(b) The West Virginia Legislature finds that:
(1) Flooding has affected each of the fifty-five counties and
thirty-two major watersheds within the state;
(2) Over the past forty years, more than two hundred and fifty
West Virginians have died in floods;
(3) Between January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, and
September, two thousand four,
there have been sixteen federal
disaster declarations in West Virginia involving flooding for a
total cost to the Federal Emergency Management Agency of five
hundred million dollars; and
(4) Despite the many state and federal flood protection
programs and projects, flooding continues to be West Virginia's
most common and widespread natural disaster.
(c) It is the purpose of this article to provide a
comprehensive and coordinated statewide flood protection planning
program to save lives and reduce or mitigate flood damage while
supporting economic growth and protecting the environment.
For purposes of this article:
(1) "Council" means the State Flood Protection Planning
(2) "Committee" or "Advisory Committee" means the State Flood Protection Planning Advisory Committee.
§29-29-3. State Flood Protection Planning Council.
(a) The State Flood Protection Planning Council is created.
The Council shall consist of six members: The Director of the
Division of Natural Resources or his or her designee; the Secretary
of the Department of Environmental Protection or his or her
designee; the Executive Director of the West Virginia Conservation
Agency or his or her designee; the Director of the West Virginia
Housing Development Fund; the Secretary of the Department of
Military Affairs and Public Safety or his or her designee; and the
Secretary of Transportation or his or her designees.
(b) (1) The Council shall designate one of its members in
rotation to be chair for a term of two years. In the absence of
the chair, any member designated by the members present may act as
(2) The Executive Director of the West Virginia Conservation
Agency or his or her designee is designated as the temporary chair
and he or she shall call the members together for an organizational
meeting on or after the effective date of this article.
(c) The Council shall meet no less than once each calendar
quarter at the time and place designated by the chair. All
decisions of the Council shall be decided by a majority vote of the
§29-29-4. Powers and duties.
The Council may:
(1) Serve as coordinator of all flood protection programs and activities in the state;
(2) Annually review the state flood protection plan and update
the plan no less than biannually;
(3) Recommend legislation to reduce or mitigate flood damage;
(4) Review and implement recommendations of the Advisory
(5) Report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on flooding
at least quarterly;
(6) Catalog, maintain and monitor a listing of current and
proposed capital expenditures to reduce or mitigate flood damage;
(7) Coordinate planning of flood projects with federal
(8) Improve professional management of flood plains;
(9) Provide education and outreach on flooding issues to the
citizens of this state;
(10) Establish a single website integrating all agency flood
(11) Take all other actions necessary and proper to effectuate
the purposes of this article.
§29-29-5. State Flood Protection Planning Advisory Committee;
members; meetings; duties.
(a) The State Flood Protection Planning Advisory Committee is
created. The Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Council
and shall consist of no more than twenty members. The Council
shall appoint members for their technical and policy expertise and
experience in flooding issues so that the Advisory Committee can provide the Council with sufficient information for it to make
informed decisions regarding flood protection. Each of the
following agencies shall be represented by at least one member on
the advisory committee: U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Natural
Resources Conservation Service, National Weather Service, U. S.
Geological Survey, Federal Emergency Management Agency, West
Virginia Division of Forestry, West Virginia Department of
Environmental Protection, West Virginia Division of Highways, West
Virginia Development Office, West Virginia Division of Natural
Resources, West Virginia Insurance Commission, West Virginia Office
of Emergency Services, West Virginia Board of Risk Management and
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health. Two members of the
Advisory Committee shall be flood plain managers. One member shall
be from the West Virginia Association of Counties. One member
shall be from the West Virginia Municipal League. Two members
shall represent public or nonprofit organizations.
(b) The Advisory Committee shall elect a Chair from its
membership for a term of two years. The Advisory Committee shall
meet as often as necessary at the time and place designated by the
chair or by call of a majority of the Advisory Committee members.
All decisions of the Advisory Committee shall be made by a majority
vote of the members.
(c) The Chair of the Advisory Committee may appoint
subcommittees, prescribe their jurisdiction and designate a
(d) The Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to and advise the Council on matters within the Council's jurisdiction.
§29-29-6. Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on Flooding.
(a) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House
of Delegates shall each designate five members of their respective
houses, including two members of the minority party, to serve on a
Joint Legislative Oversight Commission charged with immediate and
ongoing oversight of flood damage reduction and flood plain
management. Each congressional district shall be represented in
the Commission membership. The Commission shall be known as the
"Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on Flooding" and shall
regularly monitor all activities relating to flood protection and
shall make recommendations to the Legislature that offer solutions
to reduce the reality and threat of future loss of life and
property damages associated with flooding.
(b) The expenses of the Commission are to be approved by the
Joint Committee on Government and Finance and paid from legislative
(c) The Chair of the State Flood Protection Planning Council
shall report quarterly
, at a minimum, in sufficient detail for the
Commission to monitor the activities of the Council to assure
progress toward reducing and mitigating flood damage within this
state and to develop legislative recommendations. The chair of the
Council shall submit an annual report to the Commission by the
thirty-first day of December each year.