Senate Bill No. 612
(By Senator Macnaughtan)
[Introduced February 19, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Natural Resources.]
A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new
chapter, designated chapter twenty-two-d, relating to
placing a moratorium upon the granting of permits to conduct
mining by certain of the available surface mining methods
and the creation of valley fills until such time as the
long-term social, environmental and economic effects of such
types of mining shall have been adequately studied and
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new
chapter, designated chapter twenty-two-d, to read as follows:
CHAPTER 22D. MORATORIUM ON VALLEY FILL METHODS.
ARTICLE 1. MINING METHODS MORATORIUM AND STUDY.
§22D-1-1. Legislative findings and purpose.
(a) The Legislature finds that it is essential to the
economic and social well-being of the citizens of the state of
West Virginia to refrain from allowing any mining procedure the
long-term consequences of which are unknown.
Further, the Legislature finds that there has been a recent
increase within West Virginia of a mining procedure commonly
known as "valley fills."
Further, the Legislature finds that the long-term impact of
mining by the filling of valleys upon the geology, wildlife,
water systems and the economic and social well-being of the
citizens of West Virginia is unknown.
(b) Therefore, it is the purpose of this article to:
(1) Assure that mining using the method of filling of
valleys with soil and rock does not have any deleterious effect
upon the social and economic well-being of the citizens of West
(2) Assure that the filling of valleys with soil and rock
continues only after West Virginia has had an opportunity to
thoroughly evaluate the long-term impact of such activity.
"Valley fill" means material, including, but not limited to,
soil and rock, deposited in or filling a single valley or more
than one contiguous valley where the volume of material deposited exceeds one hundred thousand cubic yards.
§22D-1-3. Duties of the director.
The director of the West Virginia division of environmental
protection is hereby directed to:
(a) Conduct studies, carry out research, collect data and
take such other steps as are necessary to determine the social,
environmental and economic impacts of the filling of valleys with
soil and rock, a practice often known as the creation of a
(b) Make a report to the Legislature of the results of any
studies, research or data collection carried out pursuant to this
article by the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-nine, and on the first day of July of each year
thereafter, until the first day of July, two thousand four; and
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, to
the contrary, for the period beginning with the effective date of
this chapter and ending on the first day of July, two thousand
four, refrain from granting or approving any permit which would
include the construction of a valley fill.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to place a moratorium on
granting permits for valley fills. The bill requires a study be
performed to determine social, environmental and economic impacts
of the practice of valley fill.
This chapter is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.