(b) The Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health, pursuant to and consistent with section six, article one, chapter sixteen of this code, is directed to participate with the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct an assessment on the actual and potential human health pathways and risks from mercury consumption and make appropriate recommendations to the Department of Environmental Protection.
(c) Pursuant to and consistent with section three-a, article one, chapter twenty-two of this code. The Division of Air Quality and the Department of Environmental Protection are directed to further study 45CSR37 [Mercury Budget Trading Program to Reduce Mercury Emissions] to evaluate scientific evidence, considering specific environmental characteristics of West Virginia, hold public hearings and accept and review appropriate evidence regarding mercury exposure, including recommendations from the Bureau for Public Health. The Department of Environmental Protection shall also conduct an assessment which is also to include an evaluation of the available mercury control technologies for coal-fired steam generating units and other industrial activities that emit mercury, the availability and cost of mercury measurements technology and an analysis of feasibility of implementation of these technologies. The Division of Air Quality shall also consider and address any Bureau for Public Health recommendations considering health risks of West Virginians, and enter a finding as to whether the citizens of West Virginia or regions of West Virginia are exposed to a potential health risk because of mercury contamination, and if so, to propose for legislative promulgation prior to the first day of January, two thousand seven, revisions to 45 CSR 37 and any other appropriate rulemaking to effectuate its findings. The division may also recommend legislation that may be necessary to protect human health and the environment consistent with the division's findings.
(1) Conduct an analysis of literature and seek input from experts in hydrology, geology and engineering, to develop a thorough understanding of coalbed methane drilling, how the drilling is physically done, the type of equipment utilized, fluids used or encountered, and pressures induced or encountered in the drilling process;
(2) Review the regulatory scheme of other states in the Appalachian basin to determine if innovative regulatory approaches would be instructive and should be incorporated into West Virginia's regulatory scheme;
(3) Review the potential effect of drilling coalbed methane wells in areas where abandoned or active gas or oil wells are located; and
(4) Assess whether special requirements should be adopted providing protections for groundwater and water wells, to prevent contamination and other adverse impacts.
(b) The Office of Oil and Gas shall call upon other divisions of the Department of Environmental Protection as needed to assist in this review, and report to the Legislature by the first of January, two thousand seven, and propose further legislative rule amendments to the rule as are necessary and appropriate.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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