Senate Bill No. 71
(By Senators Ross, Helmick, Plymale, Sharpe, Dugan, Minear,
Love, Schoonover, Scott, Dittmar, Anderson, Sprouse and Fanning)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the Committee
on Natural Resources; and then to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend and reenact section fifteen, article thirteen,
chapter twenty-two of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
allowing landowners to enter small streams and ditches for
the purpose of removing debris to prevent flooding without
criminal or civil liability.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section fifteen, article thirteen, chapter twenty-two
of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty- one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 13. NATURAL STREAMS PRESERVATION ACT.
§22-13-15. Exceptions as to criminal liabilities.
(a) The criminal liabilities provided for in section fourteen of this article may not be imposed for any violation
resulting from accident or caused by an act of God, war, strike,
riot or other catastrophe as to which negligence or willful
conduct on the part of such person was not the proximate cause.
(b) Additionally, notwithstanding any other provision of
this code to the contrary, landowners shall be allowed to enter
small streams and ditches for the purpose of removing debris to
prevent the flooding of their homes and property, without
incurring any criminal or civil liabilities whatsoever.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow land owners to
enter small streams and ditches for the purpose of removing
debris to prevent flooding.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.