Senate Bill 239 History
Senate Bill No. 239
(By Senators Bailey, Dempsey, Fanning, Hunter and Harrison)
[Introduced February 21, 2005; referred to the Committee
on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on
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. 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.
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 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
(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
§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
(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 web site integrating all agency flood
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
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
(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.