Senate Bill No. 324
(By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Boley
By Request of the Executive)
[Introduced February 7, 1996; referred to the Committee
on Natural Resources; and then to the Committee on Finance
A BILL to amend chapter twenty of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article thirteen, relating
to creating the West Virginia stream partners program;
setting forth legislative findings and purpose; creating the
West Virginia stream partners program fund; identifying an
executive committee; coordinating the West Virginia stream
partners' program; funding the stream partners program;
stating grant qualifications; and providing for support of
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding a new article, designated article thirteen, to read as
ARTICLE 13. WEST VIRGINIA STREAM PARTNERS PROGRAM.
§20-13-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and cited as the "West Virginia
Stream Partners Program Act."
§20-13-2. Legislative findings and purpose.
The Legislature finds that efforts to restore, protect and
utilize West Virginia's rivers and streams for public health,
recreation, commercial and habitat uses are most successful when
citizens work in partnership with state agencies to manage the
state's rivers and streams by combining community resources,
local initiative and state agency support.
It is the purpose of the Legislature, therefore, to
establish a program to encourage citizens to work in partnership
with appropriate state agencies so that the state's rivers and
streams: (a) Are safe for swimming, fishing and other forms of
recreation; (b) can support appropriate public and commercial
purposes; and (c) can provide habitat for plant and animal life.
§20-13-3. West Virginia stream partners program created;
executive committee identified; program
There is hereby created the West Virginia stream partners
program and within the division of natural resources there is
hereby created the West Virginia stream partners program fund.
The program shall be jointly administered by the division of
natural resources, the division of environmental protection, the
division of forestry, and the West Virginia state soil
conservation agency. The director or commissioner of each of
these administering agencies or his or her designee shall
collectively constitute an executive committee to oversee the
program. The governor shall designate a member of the executive
committee to serve as chair. The committee shall designate a
staff member from existing staff to coordinate the program on
behalf of the executive committee.
§20-13-4. Stream partners program fund.
Money from the general revenue may be appropriated into the
West Virginia stream partners program fund. The West Virginia
stream partners program fund shall be used solely to provide
grants to groups comprised of representatives located in the
immediate area of the stream or streams being addressed that are dedicated to achieving the purpose stated in section two of this
article. The grants shall be awarded by consensus of the
executive committee in accordance with rules promulgated by the
division of environmental protection. Each grant shall be
matched with cash or in-kind services in, at least, an amount
equal to twenty percent of the grant: Provided, That no grant
shall exceed the amount of five thousand dollars.
§20-13-5. Grant qualifications.
In order to qualify for grants from the West Virginia stream
partners program fund, application must be made in accordance
with the following requirements and in accordance with any other
provision of this article or any applicable rule:
(a) Identification of the stream or streams to be restored,
protected, utilized or enhanced;
(b) Identification of the individuals applying for funds and
the financially responsible entity to receive funds, all from the
immediate surrounding geographic area. These identified
individuals shall represent the general public, industry,
environmental groups, sportsmen, forestry, agriculture, local
government, tourism, recreation and landowner groups, all located
in the immediate surrounding geographic area;
(c) Demonstration of an ability to achieve within the grant
year a specific improvement project that enhances the identified
stream or streams; and
(d) A commitment to educate the citizens in the area of the
identified stream or streams about the benefits of restoring,
protecting and enhancing the stream or streams in a responsible
§20-13-6. Administering agency support.
The administering agencies may provide staff and other
resources as necessary to address the technical assistance and
administrative needs of the West Virginia stream partners program
and West Virginia stream partners program fund. This support may
include the utilization of resources and formulation of policies
to achieve the purpose set forth in section two of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the West
Virginia stream partners program and establish a grant program to
restore, protect and utilize West Virginia's rivers and streams.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.