Senate Bill No. 248
(By Senators Kessler (Acting President), Snyder, Browning, Yost, Foster, Plymale, McCabe and Klempa)
[Originating in the Committee on Judiciary;
reported February 24, 2011.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §11-13BB-1, §11-13BB-2, §11-13BB-3, §11-13BB-4, §11-13BB-5 and §11-13BB-6; and to amend and reenact §22-11-8 of said code, all relating to coal slurry disposal; establishing a corporate net income tax credit for developing alternative technologies for disposal of coal slurry; prohibiting new permits for underground injection of coal slurry; requiring certain study be conducted before new coal slurry injection permits may be issued; and requiring study to begin and be completed within a certain time.
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 §11-13BB-1, §11-13BB-2, §11-13BB-3, §11-13BB-4, §11-13BB-5 and §11-13BB-6; and that §22-11-8 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.
ARTICLE 13BB. CORPORATE NET INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR COAL CLEANING AND PREPARATION FACILITIES.
§11-13BB-1. Short title.
This article shall be known as the “Alternative Coal Slurry Disposal Act”.
§11-13BB-2. Legislative finding and purpose.
The Legislature finds that production of coal is very important to the economy of this state, and that a sound economy is in the public interest and promotes the general welfare of the people of this state. However, there are concerns regarding the potential for harmful effects to the public health and the environment resulting from the [generation and] current methods of disposal of coal slurry, which is a by-product of the coal cleaning process. In order to encourage capital investment in alternative technologies which eliminate the generation of coal slurry or eliminate existing coal slurry disposal sites in this state, there is hereby established a corporate net income tax credit for investments in coal mining operations which implement these technologies.
(a) Any term used in this article shall have the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in article twenty-four of this chapter, unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context of its use or by definition in this article.
(b) For purposes of this article, "coal mining operation" means any operation which is granted or should obtain a permit to engage in any activity covered by article three, chapter twenty-two of this code and any rule promulgated under that article and includes any operation which engages in surface mining operations as defined by article three, chapter twenty-two of this code.
§11-13BB-4. Amount and application of credit.
(a) There shall be allowed to eligible taxpayers a credit against the corporate net income tax imposed by article twenty-four of this chapter, for investment in alternative technologies which eliminate or reduce the generation of coal slurry or which eliminate existing coal slurry disposal sites. The amount of this credit shall be determined as hereinafter provided in this section.
(b) The amount invested under subsection (a) of this section shall be applied to reduce up to fifty percent of the taxes imposed by article twenty-four of this chapter for the tax year.
§11-13BB-5. Tax Commissioner to promulgate forms and legislative rule.
The State Tax Commissioner shall propose legislative rules for legislative approval pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code regarding the applicability and method of claiming of the credit.
§11-13BB-6. Effective date.
The credit shall be allowed for taxable years beginning on or after July 1, 2011.
CHAPTER 22. ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES.
ARTICLE 11. WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT.
§22-11-8. Prohibitions; permits required.
(a) The secretary may, after public notice and opportunity for public hearing, issue a permit for the discharge or disposition of any pollutant or combination of pollutants into waters of this state upon condition that the discharge or disposition meets or will meet all applicable state and federal water quality standards and effluent limitations and all other requirements of this article and article three, chapter twenty-two-b of this code.
(b) It is unlawful for any person, unless the person holds a permit therefor from the department, which is in full force and effect, to:
(1) Allow sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, or the effluent therefrom, produced by or emanating from any point source, to flow into the waters of this state;
(2) Make, cause or permit to be made any outlet, or substantially enlarge or add to the load of any existing outlet, for the discharge of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, or the effluent therefrom, into the waters of this state;
(3) Acquire, construct, install, modify or operate a disposal system or part thereof for the direct or indirect discharge or deposit of treated or untreated sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, or the effluent therefrom, into the waters of this state, or any extension to or addition to the disposal system;
(4) Increase in volume or concentration any sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes in excess of the discharges or disposition specified or permitted under any existing permit;
(5) Extend, modify or add to any point source, the operation of which would cause an increase in the volume or concentration of any sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes discharging or flowing into the waters of the state;
(6) Construct, install, modify, open, reopen, operate or abandon any mine, quarry or preparation plant, or dispose of any refuse or industrial wastes or other wastes from the mine or quarry or preparation plant: Provided, That the department’s permit is only required wherever the aforementioned activities cause, may cause or might reasonably be expected to cause a discharge into or pollution of waters of the state, except that a permit is required for any preparation plant: Provided, however, That unless waived in writing by the secretary, every application for a permit to open, reopen or operate any mine, quarry or preparation plant or to dispose of any refuse or industrial wastes or other wastes from the mine or quarry or preparation plant shall contain a plan for abandonment of the facility or operation, which plan shall comply in all respects to the requirements of this article. The plan of abandonment is subject to modification or amendment upon application by the permit holder to the secretary and approval of the modification or amendment by the secretary; or
(7) Operate any disposal well for the injection or reinjection underground of any industrial wastes, including, but not limited to, liquids or gases, or convert any well into such a disposal well or plug or abandon any such disposal well.
(c) Where a person has a number of outlets emerging into the waters of this state in close proximity to one another, the outlets may be treated as a unit for the purposes of this section, and only one permit issued for all the outlets.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, effective with the enactment of this subsection by the Legislature during the regular session of 2011, the issuance of new permits for underground injection of coal slurry is prohibited. This prohibition shall remain in place until the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Health and Human Resources mutually agree that the disposal of coal slurry by underground injection is not harmful to public health. This agreement must be supported by a joint study that includes the Prenter area in Boone County which the departments must begin no later than six months from the effective date of this subsection and be completed no later than one year from the effective date of this subsection.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit new permits for the underground injection of coal slurry until DEP and DHHR agree that this method of disposal is not harmful to public health; and create a tax incentive program for development of alternative technologies for management and disposal of coal slurry.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
§11-13BB-1 through §11-13BB-6 are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.)