H. B. 2465
(By Delegates Manuel, Tabb, Boggs,
Doyle, Stemple and Hamilton)
[Introduced January 20, 2003; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
A BILL to amend chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article twenty-three,
relating to the creation of a gypsy moth control commission;
providing legislative findings; appointment and composition of
the commission; stating powers, duties and responsibilities;
allowing reimbursement of expenses; and requiring reports to
the joint committee on government and finance as well as
posting to a public access web site.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto
a new article, designated article twenty-three, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 23. COMMISSION ON GYPSY MOTH CONTROL.
§5-23-1. Short title.
This article shall be known by and may be cited as "The Gypsy
Moth Control Act of 2003."
§5-23-2. Legislative findings, purposes and intent.
The Legislature finds and declares:
(1) That the gypsy moth is one of the most damaging insect
pests of hardwood trees in the eastern United States and is rapidly
spreading throughout West Virginia and must be controlled.
(2) The gypsy moth has continued spreading throughout West
Virginia since the nineteen eighties. In particular, gypsy moth
caterpillars defoliated six hundred and three thousand, six hundred
twenty-seven acres of forestland in the state in two thousand one,
which was twice the damage from the year before. Its presence in
this state is a serious concern to public and private landowners.
This ongoing threat to our community trees and forests raises
severe economic and environmental problems and concerns, including
the increased potential for wild fires, erosion, loss of commercial
logging and residential property values, as well as impacts to
(3) In one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven, Senator Robert
C. Byrd was instrumental in the passage of funding for a project to
demonstrate integrated pest management against the gypsy moth.
This project was called the appalachian gypsy moth IPM
demonstration project. It encompassed thirty-eight counties and
almost thirteen million acres in Virginia and West Virginia. Its objectives were to slow the spread of the gypsy moth, defoliation,
assess the feasibility of a coordinated county, state and federal
gypsy moth program and develop a prototype system that would be
transferable to other areas of the United States. The project ended
in one thousand nine hundred ninety-two. The project
accomplishments included prevention of significant impacts on
ninety-four percent of the treated areas, creation of standardized
methods for all phases, and determination of multiple control
methods including not only insecticides but also mating disruption
and sterile egg options.
(4) A second gypsy moth project began, which is known as the
slow the spread pilot project under the sponsorship of the United
States forest service. The goal is to determine the feasibility of
using IPM strategies over a large geographic area, including
Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio,
Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
(5) The objectives for the slow the spread pilot project are
(A)Demonstrate that new and current technology can slow the
rate at which gypsy moth populations are currently spreading;
(B) Assess the technological, economic, ecological and
environmental viability of implementing an operational slow the
spread program over a larger area; and
(C) Integrate slow the spread technology into a national strategy for suppression of the gypsy moth.
(6) Data from this project is housed at the GMDigest, which is
an internet site maintained by the United States forest service in
(7) After a brief downward trend, gypsy moth populations have
rebounded in two thousand one. State and federal agencies
responded by conducting aerial treatments to protect trees in nine
states totaling four hundred sixty-three thousand, four hundred
forty-eight acres. This is an increase of forty-six percent over
two thousand treatment levels. Since one thousand nine hundred
ninety-seven, there has been a broad regional upsurge in
populations and by the summer of two thousand one, over two million
acres of defoliation were reported from New England to Virginia and
west to Wisconsin.
(8) In two thousand one, fifty-seven percent of all areas
treated within state projects were privately owned and landowner
participation was voluntary. Defoliation was prevented on
eighty-seven percent of the acres treated. Areas not treated in
two thousand one continue to see increases in gypsy moth
populations. The most significant increases were found in Virginia,
West Virginia and New Jersey. The George Washington/Jefferson
National Forest in Virginia and the Monongahela National Forest in
West Virginia have increasing gypsy moth damage.
(9) Efforts to enhance control of the gypsy moth should be coordinated among the several state and federal agencies,
commissions, boards, committees, associations and other entities.
(10) In recognition of these findings and purposes, it is in
the best interest of this state to create the West Virginia gypsy
moth control review commission as a statutory body.
§5-23-3. Commission created; composition; appointment of members.
There is created the West Virginia gypsy moth control review
commission. The commission has a total of thirteen voting members.
The commission is comprised of eight private citizen volunteer
members; and five government agency members, one each, to be
representatives from the department of agriculture, the division of
natural resources, the section of parks and recreation and two
other representatives of either state or federal agencies as are
determined to be necessary for the purposes of this commission.
The members shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and
consent of the Senate. Of the initial appointments, three members
shall be appointed to serve a term of one year; three members
shall be appointed to serve a term of two years; three members
shall be appointed to serve a term of three years; and four members
shall be appointed to serve a term of four years. The successor of
each appointed member shall be appointed for an overlapping term of
four years, except that any person appointed to fill a vacancy
occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the
predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only to the remainder of the term. Members shall be replaced if they miss two
consecutive meetings or three meetings in one year. There are no
limits on the number of terms which may be served by any
individual, except of continued membership or employment for the
group that is being represented. Each member shall serve until the
appointment of his or her successor. Up to four additional,
nonvoting members may be added or deleted by vote of a simple
majority of the task force.
§5-23-4. Powers, duties and responsibilities.
The commission has the power, duty and responsibility to:
(1) Generally assist in establishing the policy and procedures
for the control of the spread of gypsy moths in West Virginia,
which should include a brief review of best practices in place in
the affected region;
(2) Coordinate the current efforts to control the spread of
the gypsy moth to new areas and limit damage in infested areas in
this state among the several state and federal agencies,
commissions, boards, committees, associations and other entities.
This shall include ensuring an appropriate group will create,
maintain and update education material, with West Virginia specific
content, which should be made generally available to the public
including community groups, home owner associations and county
(3) Develop a centralized and enhanced control of the gypsy moth program that will create more seamless control efforts in a
geographic area, and reduce risks to our citizens and forests at
the state and county level through enhanced communication and
coordination with all public and private landowners and other
interested parties. This should increase the level of involvement
of government officials and reduce the current administrative
burden on individual property owner volunteer coordinators while
allowing local control for conditions which may vary significantly
from county to county; and
(4) Meet at least quarterly and report to the Legislature
annually on the status of programs as required by the provisions of
section six of this article. For the first twelve months, the task
force shall meet at least monthly, to ensure a regular review of
action items, and timely progress on the initial work required to
create recommendations and reports. Telephone conference bridges
or similar technology shall be made available to the members to
minimize travel expenses and increase flexibility of scheduling.
§5-23-5. Compensation and expenses of members; expenses of the
The members of the commission shall be reimbursed for all of
their reasonable and necessary travel, telephone conference calls,
and other expenses incurred in connection with carrying out their
duties as members, which expenses shall be paid in the manner and
form prescribed by law. Members of the commission may receive no compensation for their services on or with the commission:
Provided, That a member of the commission who is also an employee
of a state agency may only receive compensation for service on the
commission by the state agency that employs that member.
The commission shall report to the Legislature's joint
committee on government and finance as to the progress being made
in the control of the gypsy moth by state governmental entities and
projects, and shall report, at least annually, but more often if
requested, the financing deemed necessary to continue funding, if
desired, of gypsy moth control activities. The initial report
shall be due by July first, two thousand three. This will allow
sufficient time to revise processes for egg mass surveys in the
fall of two thousand three and control measures for the spring of
two thousand four. Reports should be available to the general
public through standard mechanisms and easily found links on the
internet with pointers from multiple state government pages.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a Gypsy Moth
Control Commission to coordinate efforts to limit the effects of
gypsy moths in this state.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.