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Introduced Version House Bill 2621 History

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hb2621 intr
H. B. 2621


(By Delegates Boggs, Browning, Louisos, Stemple,

Swartzmiller, Armstead and Walters)

[Introduced February 23, 2005 ; referred to the

Committee on Government Organization.]




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 of 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. STATE FLOOD PROTECTION PLAN 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; 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.
§29-29-2. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:
(1) "Council" means the State Flood Protection Planning Council; and
(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 hereby created. The Council shall consist of five 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 State Conservation Agency or his or her designee; 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 chair.
(2) The Executive Director of the State Conservation Agency 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 members.
§29-29-4. Powers and duties.
The Council shall have the authority to:
(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 Committee;
(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 agencies;
(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 web site integrating all agency flood information; and
(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 hereby created. The Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Council and shall consist of no less than eighteen 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 Division of Labor, 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 of 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.
(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 subcommittee chair.
(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, at least one of whom shall be a member 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. This 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 which 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 appropriations.
(c) The chair of the State Flood Protection Planning Council shall report, at a minimum of quarterly, 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.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the State Flood Protection Planning Council and authorize certain duties; establish state flood protection planning Advisory Committee and set forth its duties; and establish a Joint Legislative Oversight Commission of Flooding.

Article 29 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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