CHAPTER 20. NATURAL RESOURCES.
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ARTICLE 13. WEST VIRGINIA STREAM PARTNERS PROGRAM.
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§20-13-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and cited as the "West Virginia
Stream Partners Program Act."
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§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.
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§20-13-3. West Virginia Stream Partners Program created; executive
committee identified; program coordination.
Subject to annual appropriation of the Legislature, the
program shall be jointly administered by the Division of Natural
Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Division
of Forestry and the West Virginia State Soil Conservation Agency.
The director, secretary or commissioner of each of these
administering agencies, or his or her designee, 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 may designate a staff member from
the existing staff of one of the administering agencies to
coordinate the program on behalf of the executive committee.
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§20-13-4. Stream Partners Program.
The West Virginia Stream Partners Program shall 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 legislative rules promulgated by the Department of
Environmental Protection pursuant to article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code. Each grant shall be matched by the
group of representatives 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.
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§20-13-5. Grant qualifications.
In order to qualify for grants from the West Virginia Stream
Partners Program, a group of representatives located in the
immediate area of a stream or streams which qualify under section
two of this article shall apply to the executive committee in
accordance with the following requirements and in accordance with
any other provision of this article or any applicable rule. The
(a) Identify the stream or streams to be restored, protected,
utilized or enhanced;
(b) Identify the representatives of groups applying for funds
and the financially responsible entity to receive funds, all from
the geographic area immediately surrounding the stream or streams.
These identified individuals shall represent the general public,
industry, environmental groups, sportsmen, forestry, agriculture,
local government, tourism, recreation and affected landowners, all
located in the geographic area immediately surrounding the stream
(c) Demonstrate an ability to achieve, within the grant year,
a specific improvement project that enhances the identified stream
or streams; and
(d) Evidence 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
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§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.
This support may include the utilization of resources and
formulation of policies to achieve the purpose set forth in section
two of this article.