Senate Bill No. 271
(By Senators Beach and Williams)
[Introduced January 25, 2011; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §22-1-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the Environmental Protection Advisory Council generally; increasing the membership of the council to nine members; specifying represented organizations and entities; and making certain procedural changes in board activities.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §22-1-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.
§22-1-9. Environmental Protection Advisory Council.
(a) There is created within the Department of commerce, labor and environmental resources Environmental Protection, the Environmental Protection Advisory Council. The Environmental Protection Advisory Council consists of seven nine members. The director secretary serves as an ex officio member of the council and as its chair. The remaining six eight members are appointed by the Governor. Each member serves for a term of four years and may be reappointed. Members of the council serving on the effective date of this section shall continue to serve until their terms expire or their successors have been appointed. Of the members of the council first appointed, two shall be appointed for terms ending on the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, and two each for terms ending one and two years thereafter. Of the two new members of the council, one shall be appointed for a term ending on June 30, 2012, and one shall be appointed for the term ending June 30, 2013. Vacancies on the council shall be filled within sixty days after the vacancy occurs.
(b) Two members of the council shall represent industries regulated by the division or their trade associations. Two members shall represent organizations advocating environmental protection. One member shall represent organizations representing local governments. One member shall represent public service districts.
Any future appointments to the council shall be representative of the following entities. They are:
(1) One member of the council shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted to the Governor by the largest organization representing manufacturing in this state and one member of the council shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted to the Governor by the largest organization representing the interests of coal producers;
(2) One member of the council shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted to the Governor by the largest organization representing farming interests in this state and one member of the council shall be appointed from a list of three names of registered foresters submitted to the Governor by the largest organization representing the interests of private owners of forest land;
(3) One member of the council shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted to the Governor by the two largest organizations representing environmental protection organizations; (4) One member of the council shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted jointly to the Governor by the largest organizations representing counties and municipalities in this state; and
(5) One member of the council shall be appointed from a list of three names submitted to the Governor by the largest organization representing public service districts in this state. In making subsequent appointments this balance of membership shall be maintained.
(c) Except for state employee and officer members, appointed members shall be paid the same compensation and expense reimbursement as is paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties as recommended by the Citizens Legislative Compensation Commission and authorized by law for each day or portion thereof engaged in the discharge of official duties.
(d) The council shall meet at least once every quarter and at the call of the chair or at the request of any four members of the council in writing signed by the members requesting the meeting, the chair shall schedule a meeting. At least fifteen days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting, or ten days in advance of a meeting called by the chair, the secretary shall provide the members of the council with an agenda of all matters scheduled for discussion at the meeting and copies of any rules the secretary intends to propose.
(e) The council shall:
(1) Consult with and advise the director on program and policy development, problem solving and other appropriate subjects;
(2) Identify and define problems associated with the implementation of the policy set forth in section one of this article;
(3) Provide and disseminate to industry and the public early identification of major federal program and regulatory changes;
(4) Provide a forum for the resolution of conflicts between constituency groups;
(5) To the extent possible, strive for consensus on the development of overall environmental policy; and
(6) The council may, upon majority vote of the members, offer suggestions to the secretary for proposed new or amended legislative rules.
(6) (7) Provide an annual report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on or before January 1 of each year relating to its findings with regard to the division's department’s performance during the previous year. The report will specifically address the division's performance in accomplishing the nine purposes set forth in subsection (b), section one of this article; and
(8) Appoint technical advisory committees as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the membership of the Environmental Protection Advisory Council from seven to nine members. Under the bill the new members represent agricultural and forestry interests. The bill also provides for meetings on the call of members, appointment of technical advisory committees and it specifically allows the council to submit suggestions to the secretary of environmental protection for proposed legislative rules and amendments.