Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, oil and gas inspectors shall be selected, serve and be removed as in this article provided.
The director of the division of environmental protection shall divide the state so as to equalize, as far as practical, the work of each oil and gas inspector. The director may designate a supervising inspector and other inspectors as may be necessary, and may designate their places of abode, at points convenient to the accomplishment of their work.
The director of the division of environmental protection shall make each appointment from among the three qualified eligible candidates on the register having the highest grades. The director of the division of environmental protection or the director's designee may, for good cause, at least thirty days prior to making an appointment, strike any name from the register. Upon striking any name from the register, the director or the director's designee, as the case may be, shall immediately notify in writing each member of the oil and gas inspectors' examining board of such action, together with a detailed statement of the reasons therefor. Thereafter, the oil and gas inspectors' examining board, after hearing, if it finds that the action of striking such name was arbitrary or unreasonable, may order the name of any candidate so stricken from the register to be reinstated thereon. Such reinstatement shall be effective from the date of removal from the register.
Any candidate passed over for appointment for three years shall be automatically stricken from the register.
After having served for a probationary period of one year to the satisfaction of the director for the division of environmental protection, an oil and gas inspector or supervising inspector shall have permanent tenure until such inspector becomes seventy years of age, subject only to dismissal for cause in accordance with the provisions of section two of this article. No oil and gas inspector or supervising inspector while in office shall be directly or indirectly interested as owner, lessor, operator, stockholder, superintendent or engineer of any oil or gas drilling or producing venture or of any coal mine in this state. Before entering upon the discharge of such duties as an oil and gas inspector or supervising inspector, each inspector shall take the oath of office prescribed by section 5, article IV of the constitution of West Virginia, and shall execute a bond in the penalty of two thousand dollars, with security to be approved by the director of the division of environmental protection, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of the inspector's duties, a certificate of which oath and bond shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state.
The supervising inspector and oil and gas inspectors shall perform such duties as are imposed upon them by this chapter or chapter twenty-two of this code, and related duties assigned by the director of the division of environmental protection.
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