There is hereby continued a board of appeals, consisting of three members. Two members of the board shall be appointed by the governor, one person who by reason of previous training and experience may reasonably be said to represent the viewpoint of miners, and one person who by reason of previous training and experience may reasonably be said to represent the viewpoint of the operators. The third person, who is chair of the board and who must not have had any connection at any time with the coal industry or an organization representing miners, is selected by the two members appointed by the governor. The term of office of members of the board is five years.
The function and duties of the board is to hear appeals, make determinations on questions of miners' entitlements due to withdrawal orders and appeals from discharge or discrimination, and suspension of certification certificates.
The chair of the board has the power to administer oaths and subpoena witnesses and require production of any books, papers, records or other documents relevant or material to the appeal inquiry.
The chair shall subpoena any witness requested by a party to a hearing to testify or produce books, records or documents. Any witness responding to a subpoena so issued shall receive a daily witness fee to be paid out of the state treasury upon a requisition of the state auditor equivalent to the rate of pay under the wage agreement currently in effect plus all reasonable expenses for meals, lodging and travel at the rate applicable to state employees. Any full payments as hereinbefore specified shall be in full and exclusive payment for meals, lodging, actual travel and similar expenses and shall be made in lieu of any lost wages occasioned by such appearance in connection with any hearing conducted by the board.
Each member of the board shall be paid the same compensation and expense reimbursement as is paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties as recommended by the citizens legislative compensation commission and authorized by law for each day or portion thereof engaged in the discharge of official duties. No reimbursement for expenses shall be made except upon an itemized account, properly certified by such members of the board. All reimbursement for expenses shall be paid out of the state treasury upon a requisition upon the state auditor.
Board members, before performing any duty, shall take and subscribe to the oath required by section 5, article IV of the constitution of West Virginia.
(a) There are hereby transferred to the board of appeals all functions of the director of the office of miners' health, safety and training relating to the review of orders and notices as set forth in section seventeen, article one of this chapter.
(b) There are hereby transferred to the board of appeals all functions of the director of the office of miners' health, safety and training relating to the review of penalty assessments as set forth in subdivision (3), subsection (a), section twenty-one, article one of this chapter .
(c) Judicial review of decisions by the board of appeals shall be available and conducted in the same fashion as set forth in section nineteen, article one of this chapter.