meaning, as used in this article:
(a) "Basic public health services" means those services that are necessary to protect the health of the public. The three areas of basic public health services are communicable and reportable disease prevention and control, community health promotion and environmental health protection;
(b) "Bureau" means the bureau for public health in the department of health and human resources;
(c) "Combined local board of health" is one form of organization for a local board of health and means a board of health serving any two or more counties or any county or counties and one or more municipalities within or partially within the county or counties;
(d) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the bureau for public health, who is the state health officer;
(e) "County board of health" is one form of organization for a local board of health and means a local board of health serving a single county;
(f) "Department" means the West Virginia department of health and human resources;
(g) "Director" or "director of health" means the state health officer. Administratively within the department, the bureau for public health through its commissioner carries out the public health functions of the department, unless otherwise assigned by the secretary;
(h) "Essential public health services" means the core public health activities necessary to promote health and prevent disease, injury and disability for the citizens of the state. The services include:
(1) Monitoring health status to identify community health problems;
(2) Diagnosing and investigating health problems and health hazards in the community;
(3) Informing, educating and empowering people about health issues;
(4) Mobilizing community partnerships to identify and solve health problems;
(5) Developing policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts;
(6) Enforcing laws and rules that protect health and ensure safety;
(7) Uniting people with needed personal health services and assuring the provision of health care when it is otherwise not available;
(8) Promoting a competent public health and personal health care workforce;
(9) Evaluating the effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services; and
(10) Researching for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems;
(i) "Licensing boards" means those boards charged with regulating an occupation, business or profession and on which the commissioner serves as a member;
(j) "Local board of health," "local board" or "board" means a board of health serving one or more counties or one or more municipalities or a combination thereof;
(k) "Local health department" means the staff of the local board of health;
(l) "Local health officer" means the individual physician with a current West Virginia license to practice medicine who supervises and directs the activities of the local health department services, staff and facilities and is appointed by the local board of health with approval by the commissioner;
(m) "Municipal board of health" is one form of organization for a local board of health and means a board of health serving a single municipality;
(n) "Performance-based standards" means generally accepted, objective standards such as rules or guidelines against which public health performance can be measured;
(o) "Program plan" or "plan of operation" means the annual plan for each local board of health that must be submitted to the commissioner for approval;
(p) "Public water system" means any water supply or system which regularly supplies or offers to supply water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances, if serving at least an average of twenty-five individuals per day for at least sixty days per year, or which has at least fifteen service connections, and shall include: (1) Any collection, treatment, storage and distribution facilities under the control of the owner or operator of the system and used primarily in connection with the system; and (2) any collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under such control which are used primarily in connection with the system. A public water system does not include a system which meets all of the following conditions: (1) Which consists only of distribution and storage facilities (and does not have any collection and treatment facilities); (2) which obtains all of its water from, but is not owned or operated by, a public water system which otherwise meets the definition; (3) which does not sell water to any person; and (4) which is not a carrier conveying passengers in interstate commerce;
(q) "Secretary" means the secretary of the state department of health and human resources;
(r) "Service area" means the territorial jurisdiction of a local board of health;
(s) "State advisory council on public health" is the advisory body charged by this article with providing advice to the commissioner with respect to the provision of adequate public health services for all areas in the state;
(t) "State board of health" means, and refers to, the secretary, notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, whenever and wherever in this code there is a reference to the state board of health.
(b) All powers and duties of the director of health previously established by former section ten of this article that are not specifically included in this chapter as powers and duties of the commissioner are powers and duties of the secretary.
(c) As necessary for the effective, efficient and economical operation of the system, the secretary may from time to time delegate, assign, transfer or combine responsibilities or duties to or among employees of the department.
(d) Within the limits of applicable federal law, the secretary may require every applicant for a license, permit, certificate of registration, or registration under this chapter to place his or her social security number on the application.
(a) The secretary may propose rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that are necessary and proper to effectuate the purposes of this chapter. The secretary may appoint or designate advisory councils of professionals in the areas of hospitals, nursing homes, barbers and beauticians, postmortem examinations, mental health and intellectual disability centers and any other areas necessary to advise the secretary on rules.
(b) The rules may include, but are not limited to, the regulation of:
(1) Land usage endangering the public health: Provided, That no rules may be promulgated or enforced restricting the subdivision or development of any parcel of land within which the individual tracts, lots or parcels exceed two acres each in total surface area and which individual tracts, lots or parcels have an average frontage of not less than one hundred fifty feet even though the total surface area of the tract, lot or parcel equals or exceeds two acres in total surface area, and which tracts are sold, leased or utilized only as single-family dwelling units. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, nothing in this section may be construed to abate the authority of the department to:
(A) Restrict the subdivision or development of a tract for any more intense or higher density occupancy than a single-family dwelling unit;
(B) Propose or enforce rules applicable to single-family dwelling units for single-family dwelling unit sanitary sewerage disposal systems; or
(C) Restrict any subdivision or development which might endanger the public health, the sanitary condition of streams or sources of water supply;
(2) The sanitary condition of all institutions and schools, whether public or private, public conveyances, dairies, slaughterhouses, workshops, factories, labor camps, all other places open to the general public and inviting public patronage or public assembly, or tendering to the public any item for human consumption and places where trades or industries are conducted;
(3) Occupational and industrial health hazards, the sanitary conditions of streams, sources of water supply, sewerage facilities and plumbing systems and the qualifications of personnel connected with any of those facilities, without regard to whether the supplies or systems are publicly or privately owned; and the design of all water systems, plumbing systems, sewerage systems, sewage treatment plants, excreta disposal methods and swimming pools in this state, whether publicly or privately owned;
(4) Safe drinking water, including:
(A) The maximum contaminant levels to which all public water systems must conform in order to prevent adverse effects on the health of individuals and, if appropriate, treatment techniques that reduce the contaminant or contaminants to a level which will not adversely affect the health of the consumer. The rule shall contain provisions to protect and prevent contamination of wellheads and well fields used by public water supplies so that contaminants do not reach a level that would adversely affect the health of the consumer;
(B) The minimum requirements for: Sampling and testing; system operation; public notification by a public water system on being granted a variance or exemption or upon failure to comply with specific requirements of this section and rules promulgated under this section; record keeping; laboratory certification; as well as procedures and conditions for granting variances and exemptions to public water systems from state public water systems rules; and
(C) The requirements covering the production and distribution of bottled drinking water and may establish requirements governing the taste, odor, appearance and other consumer acceptability parameters of drinking water;
(5) Food and drug standards, including cleanliness, proscription of additives, proscription of sale and other requirements in accordance with article seven of this chapter as are necessary to protect the health of the citizens of this state;
(6) The training and examination requirements for emergency medical service attendants and emergency medical care technician- paramedics; the designation of the health care facilities, health care services and the industries and occupations in the state that must have emergency medical service attendants and emergency medical care technician-paramedics employed and the availability, communications and equipment requirements with respect to emergency medical service attendants and to emergency medical care technician-paramedics. Any regulation of emergency medical service attendants and emergency medical care technician- paramedics may not exceed the provisions of article four-c of this chapter;
(7) The health and sanitary conditions of establishments commonly referred to as bed and breakfast inns. For purposes of this article, "bed and breakfast inn" means an establishment providing sleeping accommodations and, at a minimum, a breakfast for a fee. The secretary may not require an owner of a bed and breakfast providing sleeping accommodations of six or fewer rooms to install a restaurant-style or commercial food service facility. The secretary may not require an owner of a bed and breakfast providing sleeping accommodations of more than six rooms to install a restaurant-type or commercial food service facility if the entire bed and breakfast inn or those rooms numbering above six are used on an aggregate of two weeks or less per year;
(8) Fees for services provided by the Bureau for Public Health including, but not limited to, laboratory service fees, environmental health service fees, health facility fees and permit fees;
(9) The collection of data on health status, the health system and the costs of health care;
(10) Opioid treatment programs duly licensed and operating under the requirements of chapter twenty-seven of this code.
(A) The Health Care Authority shall develop new certificate of need standards, pursuant to the provisions of article two-d of this chapter, that are specific for opioid treatment program facilities.
(B) No applications for a certificate of need for opioid treatment programs may be approved by the Health Care Authority as of the effective date of the 2007 amendments to this subsection.
(C) There is a moratorium on the licensure of new opioid treatment programs that do not have a certificate of need as of the effective date of the 2007 amendments to this subsection, which shall continue until the Legislature determines that there is a necessity for additional opioid treatment facilities in West Virginia.
(D) The secretary shall file revised emergency rules with the Secretary of State to regulate opioid treatment programs in compliance with the provisions of this section. Any opioid treatment program facility that has received a certificate of need pursuant to article two-d, of this chapter by the Health Care Authority shall be permitted to proceed to license and operate the facility.
(E) All existing opioid treatment programs shall be subject to monitoring by the secretary. All staff working or volunteering at opioid treatment programs shall complete the minimum education, reporting and safety training criteria established by the secretary. All existing opioid treatment programs shall be in compliance within one hundred eighty days of the effective date of the revised emergency rules as required herein. The revised emergency rules shall provide at a minimum:
(i) That the initial assessment prior to admission for entry into the opioid treatment program shall include an initial drug test to determine whether an individual is either opioid addicted or presently receiving methadone for an opioid addiction from another opioid treatment program.
(ii) The patient may be admitted to the opioid treatment program if there is a positive test for either opioids or methadone or there are objective symptoms of withdrawal, or both, and all other criteria set forth in the rule for admission into an opioid treatment program are met. Admission to the program may be allowed to the following groups with a high risk of relapse without the necessity of a positive test or the presence of objective symptoms: Pregnant women with a history of opioid abuse, prisoners or parolees recently released from correctional facilities, former clinic patients who have successfully completed treatment but who believe themselves to be at risk of imminent relapse and HIV patients with a history of intravenous drug use.
(iii) That within seven days of the admission of a patient, the opioid treatment program shall complete an initial assessment and an initial plan of care.
(iv) That within thirty days after admission of a patient, the opioid treatment program shall develop an individualized treatment plan of care and attach the plan to the patient's chart no later than five days after the plan is developed. The opioid treatment program shall follow guidelines established by a nationally recognized authority approved by the secretary and include a recovery model in the individualized treatment plan of care. The treatment plan is to reflect that detoxification is an option for treatment and supported by the program; that under the detoxification protocol the strength of maintenance doses of methadone should decrease over time, the treatment should be limited to a defined period of time, and participants are required to work toward a drug-free lifestyle.
(v) That each opioid treatment program shall report and provide statistics to the Department of Health and Human Resources at least semiannually which includes the total number of patients; the number of patients who have been continually receiving methadone treatment in excess of two years, including the total number of months of treatment for each such patient; the state residency of each patient; the number of patients discharged from the program, including the total months in the treatment program prior to discharge and whether the discharge was for:
(A) Termination or disqualification;
(B) Completion of a program of detoxification;
(C) Voluntary withdrawal prior to completion of all requirements of detoxification as determined by the opioid treatment program;
(D) Successful completion of the individualized treatment care plan; or
(E) An unexplained reason.
(vi) That random drug testing of all patients shall be conducted during the course of treatment at least monthly. For purposes of these rules, "random drug testing" means that each patient of an opioid treatment program facility has a statistically equal chance of being selected for testing at random and at unscheduled times. Any refusal to participate in a random drug test shall be considered a positive test. Nothing contained in this section or the legislative rules promulgated in conformity herewith will preclude any opioid treatment program from administering such additional drug tests as determined necessary by the opioid treatment program.
(vii) That all random drug tests conducted by an opioid treatment program shall, at a minimum, test for the following:
(A) Opiates, including oxycodone at common levels of dosing; (B) Methadone and any other medication used by the program as an intervention;
(C) Benzodiazepine including diazepam, lorazepan, clonazepam and alprazolam;
(E) Methamphetamine or amphetamine;
(F) Tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or dronabinol or other similar substances; or
(G) Other drugs determined by community standards, regional variation or clinical indication.
(viii) That a positive drug test is a test that results in the presence of any drug or substance listed in this schedule and any other drug or substance prohibited by the opioid treatment program. A positive drug test result after the first six months in an opioid treatment program shall result in the following:
(A) Upon the first positive drug test result, the opioid treatment program shall:
(1) Provide mandatory and documented weekly counseling of no less than thirty minutes to the patient, which shall include weekly meetings with a counselor who is licensed, certified or enrolled in the process of obtaining licensure or certification in compliance with the rules and on staff at the opioid treatment program;
(2) Immediately revoke the take home methadone privilege for a minimum of thirty days; and
(B) Upon a second positive drug test result within six months of a previous positive drug test result, the opioid treatment program shall:
(1) Provide mandatory and documented weekly counseling of no less than thirty minutes, which shall include weekly meetings with a counselor who is licensed, certified or enrolled in the process of obtaining licensure or certification in compliance with the rules and on staff at the opioid treatment program;
(2) Immediately revoke the take-home methadone privilege for a minimum of sixty days; and
(3) Provide mandatory documented treatment team meetings with the patient.
(C) Upon a third positive drug test result within a period of six months the opioid treatment program shall:
(1) Provide mandatory and documented weekly counseling of no less than thirty minutes, which shall include weekly meetings with a counselor who is licensed, certified or enrolled in the process of obtaining licensure or certification in compliance with the rules and on staff at the opioid treatment program;
(2) Immediately revoke the take-home methadone privilege for a minimum of one hundred twenty days; and
(3) Provide mandatory and documented treatment team meetings with the patient which will include, at a minimum: The need for continuing treatment; a discussion of other treatment alternatives; and the execution of a contract with the patient advising the patient of discharge for continued positive drug tests.
(D) Upon a fourth positive drug test within a six-month period, the patient shall be immediately discharged from the opioid treatment program or, at the option of the patient, shall immediately be provided the opportunity to participate in a twenty- one day detoxification plan, followed by immediate discharge from the opioid treatment program: Provided, That testing positive solely for tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or dronabinol or similar substances shall not serve as a basis for discharge from the program.
(ix) That the opioid treatment program must report and provide statistics to the Department of Health and Human Resources demonstrating compliance with the random drug test rules, including:
(A) Confirmation that the random drug tests were truly random in regard to both the patients tested and to the times random drug tests were administered by lottery or some other objective standard so as not to prejudice or protect any particular patient;
(B) Confirmation that the random drug tests were performed at least monthly for all program participants;
(C) The total number and the number of positive results; and
(D) The number of expulsions from the program.
(x) That all opioid treatment facilities be open for business seven days per week; however, the opioid treatment center may be closed for eight holidays and two training days per year. During all operating hours, every opioid treatment program shall have a health care professional as defined by rule promulgated by the secretary actively licensed in this state present and on duty at the treatment center and a physician actively licensed in this state available for consultation.
(xi) That the Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification develop policies and procedures in conjunction with the Board of Pharmacy that will allow physicians treating patients through an opioid treatment program access to the Controlled Substances Monitoring Program database maintained by the Board of Pharmacy at the patient's intake, before administration of methadone or other treatment in an opioid treatment program, after the initial thirty days of treatment, prior to any take-home medication being granted, after any positive drug test, and at each ninety-day treatment review to ensure the patient is not seeking prescription medication from multiple sources. The results obtained from the Controlled Substances Monitoring Program database shall be maintained with the patient records.
(xii) That each opioid treatment program shall establish a peer review committee, with at least one physician member, to review whether the program is following guidelines established by a nationally recognized authority approved by the secretary. The secretary shall prescribe the procedure for evaluation by the peer review. Each opioid treatment program shall submit a report of the peer review results to the secretary on a quarterly basis.
(xiii) The secretary shall propose a rule for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the distribution of state aid to local health departments and basic public health services funds.
The rule shall include the following provisions:
Base allocation amount for each county;
Establishment and administration of an emergency fund of no more than two percent of the total annual funds of which unused amounts are to be distributed back to local boards of health at the end of each fiscal year;
A calculation of funds utilized for state support of local health departments;
Distribution of remaining funds on a per capita weighted population approach which factors coefficients for poverty, health status, population density and health department interventions for each county and a coefficient which encourages counties to merge in the provision of public health services;
A hold-harmless provision to provide that each local health department receives no less in state support for a period of four years beginning in the 2009 budget year.
The Legislature finds that an emergency exists and, therefore, the secretary shall file an emergency rule to implement the provisions of this section pursuant to the provisions of section fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. The emergency rule is subject to the prior approval of the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability prior to filing with the Secretary of State.
(a) To supervise and direct the fiscal and administrative matters of the bureau, and in that regard and in accordance with law, employ, fix the compensation of and discharge all persons necessary for the proper execution of the public health laws of this state and the efficient and proper discharge of the duties imposed upon, and execution of powers vested in the commissioner by law and as directed by the secretary;
(b) To enforce all laws of this state concerning public health; to that end, the commissioner shall make, or cause to be made, investigations and inquiries respecting the cause of disease, especially of epidemics and endemic conditions, and the means of prevention, suppression or control of those conditions; the source of sickness and mortality, and the effects of environment, employment, habits and circumstances of life on the public health.
The commissioner shall further make, or cause to be made, inspections and examinations of food, drink and drugs offered for sale or public consumption in the manner the commissioner considers necessary to protect the public health and shall report all violations of laws and rules relating to the law to the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the violations occur;
(c) To make complaint or cause proceedings to be instituted against any person, corporation or other entity for the violation of any public health law before any court or agency, without being required to give security for costs; the action may be taken without the sanction of the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the proceedings are instituted or to which the proceedings relate;
(d) To promote the provision of essential public health services to citizens of this state;
(e) To monitor the administration, operation and coordination of the local boards of health and local health officers;
(f) To develop and maintain a state plan of operation that sets forth the needs of the state in the areas of public health; goals and objectives for meeting those needs; methods for achieving the stated goals and objectives; and needed personnel, funds and authority for achieving the goals and objectives;
(g) To collect data as may be required to foster knowledge on the citizenry's health status, the health system and costs of health care;
(h) To delegate to any appointee, assistant or employee any and all powers and duties vested in the commissioner, including, but not limited to, the power to execute contracts and agreements in the name of the bureau: Provided, That the commissioner is responsible for the acts of his or her appointees, assistants and employees;
(i) To transfer at the direction of the secretary, notwithstanding other provisions of this code, any patient or resident between hospitals and facilities under the control of the commissioner and, by agreement with the state commissioner of corrections and otherwise in accord with law, accept a transfer of a resident of a facility under the jurisdiction of the state commissioner of corrections;
(j) To make periodic reports to the governor and to the Legislature relative to specific subject areas of public health, the state facilities under the supervision of the commissioner, or other matters affecting the public health of the people of the state, at the direction of the secretary;
(k) At the direction of the secretary, to accept and use for the benefit of the health of the people of this state, any gift or devise of any property or thing which is lawfully given: Provided, That if any gift is for a specific purpose or for a particular state hospital or facility it shall be used as specified. Any profit which may arise from any gift or devise of any property or thing shall be deposited in a special revenue fund with the state treasurer and shall be used only as specified by the donor or donors;
(l) To acquire by condemnation or otherwise any interest, right, privilege, land or improvement and hold title to the land or improvement, for the use or benefit of the state or a state hospital or facility, and, by and with the consent of the governor, and at the direction of the secretary, to sell, exchange or otherwise convey any interest, right, privilege, land or improvement acquired or held by the state, state hospital or state facility and deposit the proceeds from the sale, exchange or other conveyance into the hospital services revenue account. Any condemnation proceedings shall be conducted pursuant to chapter fifty-four of this code;
(m) To inspect and enforce rules to control the sanitary conditions of and license all institutions and health care facilities as set forth in this chapter, including, but not limited to, schools, whether public or private, public conveyances, dairies, slaughterhouses, workshops, factories, labor camps, places of entertainment, hotels, motels, tourist camps, all other places open to the general public and inviting public patronage or public assembly, or tendering to the public any item for human consumption and places where trades or industries are conducted;
(n) To make inspections, conduct hearings, and to enforce the legislative rules concerning occupational and industrial health hazards, the sanitary condition of streams, sources of water supply, sewerage facilities, and plumbing systems, and the qualifications of personnel connected with the supplies, facilities or systems without regard to whether they are publicly or privately owned; and to make inspections, conduct hearings and enforce the legislative rules concerning the design of chlorination and filtration facilities and swimming pools;
(o) To provide in accordance with this subdivision and the definitions and other provisions of article one-a, chapter twenty-seven of this code, and as directed by the secretary, for a comprehensive program for the care, treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug abusers; for research into the cause and prevention of alcoholism and drug abuse; for the training and employment of personnel to provide the requisite rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug abusers; and for the education of the public concerning alcoholism and drug abuse;
(p) To provide in accordance with this subdivision for a program for the care, treatment and rehabilitation of the parents of sudden infant death syndrome victims; for the training and employment of personnel to provide the requisite rehabilitation of parents of sudden infant death syndrome victims; for the education of the public concerning sudden infant death syndrome; for the responsibility of reporting to the Legislature on a quarterly basis the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome cases occurring in West Virginia; for the education of police, employees and volunteers of all emergency services concerning sudden infant death syndrome; for the state sudden infant death syndrome advisory council to develop regional family support groups to provide peer support to families of sudden infant death syndrome victims; and for requesting appropriation of funds in both federal and state budgets to fund the sudden infant death syndrome program;
(q) To establish and maintain a state hygienic laboratory as an aid in performing the duties imposed upon the commissioner, and to employ chemists, bacteriologists, and other employees that may be necessary to properly operate the laboratory. The commissioner may establish branches of the state laboratory at any points within the state that are necessary in the interest of the public health;
(r) To establish and fund a uniform health professionals data system to collect and maintain uniform data on all health professionals in the state. This data shall include, but not be limited to, the following information about each health professional: His or her name, profession, the area of the state where he or she is practicing, his or her educational background, his or her employer's name, and number of years practicing within the profession. The boards provided for in articles three, four, four-a, five, seven, seven-a, fourteen, fourteen-a, fifteen, sixteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-three, twenty-eight, thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-four, thirty-five, thirty-six and thirty-seven, chapter thirty of this code shall annually collect the data on health professionals under their jurisdiction in the format prescribed by the commissioner. Each board shall pay to the bureau annually, an amount determined by the commissioner to be a pro rata portion, for anticipated expenses to establish and operate the uniform health professionals data system required by this section. The commissioner may standardize data collection methods if necessary to implement the provisions of this section. The commissioner shall publish annually and make available, upon request, a report setting forth the data which was collected the previous year; areas of the state which the collected data indicates have a shortage of health professionals; and projections, based upon the collected data, as to the need for more health professionals in certain areas;
(s) To expend, for the purpose of performing the public health duties imposed on the bureau, or authorized by law, any sums appropriated by the Legislature. The commissioner may make advance payments to public and nonprofit health services providers when the commissioner determines it is necessary for the initiation or continuation of public health services. The advance payments, being in derogation of the principle of payment only after receipt of goods or services, shall be authorized only after serious consideration by the commissioner of the necessity of the advance payments and shall be for a period no greater than ninety days in advance of rendition of service or receipt of goods and continuation of health services; and
(t) To exercise all other powers delegated to the commissioner by the secretary or by this chapter or otherwise in this code, to enforce all health laws, and to pursue all other activities necessary and incident to the authority and area of concern entrusted to the bureau or the commissioner.
(a) Effective July 1, 2012, the commissioner serves on the following licensing boards:
(1) The West Virginia Board of Medicine, provided in article three, chapter thirty; and
(2) The State Board of Sanitarians, as provided in article seventeen, chapter thirty.
(b) Effective July 1, 2012, the commissioner serves on the following advisory councils, boards and commissions:
(1) The Advisory Committee on Cancer (Cancer Registry);
(2) The Air Quality Board;
(3) The Appalachian States Low-level Radioactive Waste Commission;
(4) The Child Fatality Review Team;
(5) The Childhood Immunization Advisory Committee;
(6) The Early Intervention Coordinating Council;
(7) The Interagency Council on Osteoporosis;
(8) The Sewage Advisory Board;
(9) The State Emergency Response Commission;
(10) The State Groundwater Coordinating Committee;
(11) The Water Development Authority;
(12) The West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing;
(13) The West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council; and
(14) Any other advisory council, board or commission as assigned by the secretary except for business, professional or occupational licensing boards.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the commissioner may, at his or her discretion, designate, in writing, a representative to serve in his or her stead at the meetings and in the duties of all boards and commissions on which the commissioner is designated as an ex officio member. The appropriately designated representative or proxy acts with the full power and authority of the commissioner in voting, acting upon matters concerning the public health and welfare and other business that is properly the duty of any board or commission. The representative serves as proxy at the commissioner's will and pleasure. The provisions of this section do not apply to the West Virginia Board of Medicine, the Air Quality Board or other board, commission or body on which the commissioner is designated by this code as chairman ex officio, secretary ex officio or a board, commission or body on which the commissioner is designated by this code as being that person whose signature must appear on licenses, minutes or other documents necessary to carry out the intents and purposes of the board, commission or body.
The state health plan of operation set forth in this article and the state medical facilities plan shall be a part of the state health plan, as authorized by the provisions of article two-d of this chapter.
Whenever the commissioner or his or her authorized representative finds, upon investigation, that any system or method of drainage, water supply, or sewage or excreta disposal, whether publicly or privately owned, has not been installed in accordance with plans, specifications and instructions issued by the commissioner or approved in writing by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative, the commissioner or his or her authorized representative shall issue an order requiring the owner of the system or method to make alterations necessary to correct the improper condition. The alterations shall be made within a reasonable time, which shall not exceed thirty days, unless a time extension is authorized by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative.
The presence of sewage or excreta being disposed of in a manner not approved by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative constitutes prima facie evidence of the existence of a condition endangering public health.
The personnel of the bureau for public health shall be available to consult and advise with any person, firm, company, corporation, institution or association, whether publicly or privately owned, county or municipal, or public service authority, as to the most appropriate design, method of operation or alteration of any system or method.
Any person, firm, company, corporation, institution or association, whether public or private, county or municipal, violating any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars. Any continuing failure or refusal of the convicted person, firm, company, corporation, institution or association, whether public or private, county or municipal, to make the alterations necessary to protect the public health required by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative is a separate, distinct and additional offense for each twenty-four hour period of failure or refusal, and, upon conviction thereof, the violator shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each conviction: Provided, That none of the provisions contained in this section apply to those commercial or industrial wastes that are subject to the regulatory control of the West Virginia division of environmental protection.
Magistrates have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts of this state for violations of any provisions of this section.
(b)(1) The secretary shall prescribe by legislative rule the maximum contaminant levels to which all public water systems shall conform in order to prevent adverse effects on the health of individuals and, if the secretary considers appropriate, treatment techniques that reduce the contaminant or contaminants to a level which will not adversely affect the health of the consumer. The rule shall contain provisions to protect and prevent contamination of wellheads and well fields used by public water supplies so that contaminants do not reach a level that would adversely affect the health of the consumer.
(2) The secretary shall further prescribe by legislative rule minimum requirements for: Sampling and testing; system operation; public notification by a public water system on being granted a variance or exemption or upon failure to comply with specific requirements of this section and regulations promulgated under this section; recordkeeping; laboratory certification; as well as procedures and conditions for granting variances and exemptions to public water systems from state public water systems regulations.
(3) In addition, the secretary shall establish by legislative rule, in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, requirements covering the production and distribution of bottled drinking water and may by legislative rule, in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, establish requirements governing the taste, odor, appearance and other consumer acceptability parameters of drinking water.
(c) Authorized representatives of the bureau have right of entry to any part of a public water system, whether or not the system is in violation of a legal requirement, for the purpose of inspecting, sampling or testing and shall be furnished records or information reasonably required for a complete inspection. The right of entry includes the right for a bureau representative or a designee of a bureau representative to conduct an evaluation necessary to assure the public water system meets federal safe drinking water requirements. The public water system shall provide a written response to the bureau within forty-five days of receipt of the evaluation by the public water system, addressing corrective actions to be taken as a result of the evaluation.
(d) (1) Any individual, partnership, association, syndicate, company, firm, trust, corporation, government corporation, institution, department, division, bureau, agency, federal agency or any entity recognized by law who violates any provision of this section, or any of the rules or orders issued pursuant to this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense. The commissioner or his or her authorized representative may also seek injunctive relief in the circuit court of the county in which all or part of the public water system is situated for threatened or continuing violations.
(2) For a willful violation of a provision of this section, or of any of the rules or orders issued under this section for which a penalty is not otherwise provided under subdivision (3) of this subsection, an individual, partnership, association, syndicate, company, firm, trust, corporation, government corporation, institution, department, division, bureau, agency, federal agency or entity recognized by law, upon a finding of a willful violation by the circuit court of the county in which the violation occurs, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars and each day's violation shall be grounds for a separate penalty.
(3) The commissioner or his or her authorized representative shall have authority to assess administrative penalties and initiate any proceedings necessary for the enforcement of drinking water rules. The administrative penalty for a violation of any drinking water rule is a minimum of one thousand dollars per day per violation and a maximum of two thousand five hundred dollars per day per violation for systems serving more than ten thousand persons, a minimum of two hundred fifty dollars per day per violation and a maximum of five hundred dollars per day per violation for systems serving over three thousand three hundred persons up to and including ten thousand persons, a minimum of one hundred dollars per day per violation and a maximum of two hundred dollars per day per violation for systems serving three thousand three hundred or fewer persons and each day's violation shall be grounds for a separate penalty. Penalties are payable to the commissioner. All moneys collected under this section shall be deposited into a restricted account known as the safe drinking water penalty fund previously created in the office of the state treasurer. All money deposited into the fund shall be used by the commissioner to provide technical assistance to public water systems.
When installing a standard sewage disposal system, modified system, experimental system or other approved system, the reserve area shall consist of an area for the placement of the original system together with an area for replacement and upgrade of absorption field lines within the reserve area. Testing of the site for approval shall consist of a six foot hole and a percolation test of the soils.
(b) Subject to the provisions set forth in section two, article two, chapter twelve of this code, there is continued in the state treasury a separate account which shall be designated "the health facility licensing account." The commissioner shall deposit to the health facility licensing account all health facility licensing fees and may spend the moneys deposited in the health facility licensing account in accordance with the laws of this state to implement activities of health facility licensing. As part of the annual state budget, the Legislature shall appropriate for health facility licensure all moneys deposited in the health facilities licensing account.
Any remaining balance including accrued interest in the account at the end of any fiscal year shall not revert to the general revenue fund, but shall remain in the account, and the moneys may be spent after appropriation by the Legislature in ensuing fiscal years. The commissioner shall make an annual report to the Legislature on the health facility licensing account, including the previous fiscal year's expenditures and projected expenditures for the next fiscal year.
(b) Any balance including accrued interest in the special revolving fund at the end of any fiscal year shall not revert to the general revenue fund but shall remain in the fund for use by the commissioner for funding health programs in the ensuing fiscal years.
(c) The commissioner may authorize reasonable fees for the provision of services by local boards of health as created in article two of this chapter: Provided, That no individual may be denied health care services by the local health department because of the inability of the individual to pay for services when services are provided to similarly situated individuals who have the ability to pay for them. The fees shall be deposited into the local board of health account for use by the local board for funding health programs. The commissioner shall establish the fees on a sliding fee basis determined by an individual's ability to pay: Provided, however, That the local board of health may submit a request through the administrator for third party reimbursement where the request is appropriate: Provided further, That local boards of health that establish fees shall annually submit a schedule of fees, a sliding fee scale and an accounting of amounts collected to the commissioner as part of its program plan or plan of operation.
(d) The secretary shall propose legislative rules in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, setting forth the fees established, assessed, and charged by the commissioner.
(b) The state, or any agency of the state, or any county or municipality may, designate the commissioner as its agent for the purposes set forth in subsection (a) of this section and the agency, county or municipality may enter into an agreement with the commissioner prescribing the terms and conditions of the agency in accordance with federal laws and regulations, and with the laws of this state. The moneys paid over by the United States government shall be retained by the state or paid over to the counties or municipalities under the terms and conditions imposed by the United States government in making the grants.
(c) All moneys accepted for disbursement pursuant to this section shall be deposited by the secretary or the commissioner in the state treasury, and unless otherwise prescribed by the authority from which the money is received, kept in separate funds, designated according to the purpose for which the moneys were made available, and held by the state in trust for those purposes. All moneys are hereby appropriated for the purposes for which the moneys were made available and shall be expended in accordance with federal laws and regulations and with the laws of this state. The commissioner may, whether acting for the state or one of its agencies, or as the agency for any county or municipality, when requested by the United States government or any agency or department of the United States government, or when requested by the state, a state agency, or any county or municipality for which the moneys have been made available, disburse the moneys for the designated purposes, but this shall not include any other authorized method of disbursement.
(b) A five-year health facilities long-range plan shall be developed by the secretary and shall be adopted as a rule in accordance with this chapter and article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. The health facilities long-range plan shall be updated and revised at least every two years.
(c) The secretary may spend the moneys deposited in the hospital services revenue account in accordance with federal laws and regulations and with the laws of this state as necessary for the development of the five-year health facilities long-range plan and subsequent revisions. The secretary may spend the moneys deposited in the hospital services revenue account as provided for in the health facilities long-range plan at those times and in the amounts the secretary determines necessary for the purpose of improving the delivery of health and mental health services or for the purpose of maintaining or obtaining certification at a state health or mental health facility: Provided, That all disproportionate share hospital funds received into the account shall be transferred by intergovernmental transfer to the medical services trust fund created in section two-a, article four-a, chapter nine of this code, except for funds appropriated by the Legislature for other purposes within the annual budget bill: Provided, however, That during any fiscal year in which the secretary anticipates spending any money from the account, he or she shall submit to the executive department during the budget preparation period prior to the Legislature convening, before that fiscal year for inclusion in the executive budget document and budget bill, his or her recommended capital investments, recommended priorities and estimated costs, as well as requests of appropriations for the purpose of improving the delivery of health or for the purpose of maintaining or obtaining certification at a state health facility in the amounts the secretary determines to be necessary for the development of, and as provided for in, the five-year health facilities long-range plan and subsequent revisions.
(d) The secretary shall make an annual report to the Legislature on the status of the health services revenue account, including the previous year's expenditures and projected expenditures for the next year.
If upon review of the personnel records of any employee of the bureau, the commissioner is of the opinion that it would be in the best interest of the bureau to provide the employee with additional training or instruction, not to exceed nine months in any four-year period, in the field or vocation in which the employee is engaged, the commissioner may, upon approval of the secretary, direct that the employee obtain the additional training or instruction at any place the commissioner considers suitable. Designated attendance of the employee shall be compensated for as a part of regular employment. The commissioner is further authorized to pay out of federal funds and such state funds as are available to match such federal funds, any required tuition or enrollment fees.
(b) Each individual designated to hold any inquiry, investigation or hearing may administer oaths and affirmations, certify to all official acts, issue subpoenas and order the attendance and testimony of witnesses in the production of papers, books and documents. In case of the failure of any person to comply with any subpoena or order issued under the authority of this section, the secretary or his or her authorized representative may invoke the aid of any circuit court of this state. The court may thereupon order that person to comply with the requirements of the subpoena order or to give evidence as to the matter in question. Failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt of court.
(c) Subject to the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the secretary may in his or her discretion make available to appropriate federal, state and municipal agencies information and material developed in the course of its investigation and hearings: Provided, That information obtained from studies or from any investigation made or hearing held pursuant to the provisions of this article may not be admissible in evidence in any action at law to recover damages for personal injury or in any action under the workers' compensation act, but the information, if available, shall be furnished upon request to the executive director of the workers' compensation commission for the sole purpose of adjusting claims presented to the commission.
state. The inspectors, examiners and other employees shall act as the commission's representatives and, under his or her direction, shall enforce the provisions of the public health laws and all duly promulgated public health rules and in the discharge of official duties, shall have the right of entry into any institution or school, whether public or private, public conveyances, dairy, creamery, slaughterhouse, workshop, factory, labor camp, place of entertainment, hotel, tourist camp, all other places open to the general public and inviting public patronage or public assembly, or tendering to the public any item for human consumption, and places where hazardous trades or industries are conducted.
Any person interfering with or attempting to interfere with any inspector, examiner, or other duly authorized employee of the commissioner in the discharge of his or her duties under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session