WEST virginia legislature
2016 regular session
Senate Bill 625
By Senators Trump, Kessler, Unger, Walters, Prezioso and Facemire
Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §22-30-14 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to limitations on public access to information relating to the Aboveground Storage Tank Act.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §22-30-14 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 30. THE ABOVEGROUND STORAGE TANK ACT.
§22-30-14. Public access to information.
(a) The public
have has access to all documents and information submitted to the
department pursuant to this article, subject to the limitations contained in
the state Freedom of Information Act, article one, chapter twenty-nine-b of
this code, or any information designated by the Division of Homeland Security
and Emergency Management as restricted from public release. Trade secrets,
proprietary business information and information designated by the Division of
Homeland Security and Emergency Management as restricted from public release pursuant
to subsection (c) of this section shall be secured and safeguarded by the
department. Such The information or data shall may
not be disclosed to the public or to any firm, individual or agency other than
officials or authorized employees or representatives of a state or federal
agency implementing the provisions of this article or any other applicable law
related to releases of fluid from aboveground storage tanks that impact the
state’s water resources or related to source water protection planning.
Any person who makes any unauthorized disclosure of such confidential
information or data violates the provision of this section is guilty
of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, may be fined not more than
$1,000 or confined in a regional jail facility for not more than
twenty days, or both fined and confined.
A list of the
potential sources of significant contamination contained within the zone of
critical concern or zone of peripheral concern as provided by the Bureau for
Public Health, working in conjunction with the department and the Division of
Homeland Security and Emergency Management may only be disclosed to the extent
consistent with the protection of trade secrets, confidential business
information and information designated by the Division of Homeland Security and
Emergency Management as described above. The exact location, of the contaminants
size and substances stored in aboveground storage tanks within the zone
of critical concern or zone of peripheral concern is not subject to public
disclosure in response to a Freedom of Information Act request under article
one, chapter twenty-nine-b of this code. However, the location,
characteristics and approximate quantities of potential sources of significant
contamination exact location, size and substances stored in aboveground storage
tanks within the zone of critical concern or zone of peripheral concern
shall be made known to one or more designees of the public water utility, and
shall be maintained in a confidential manner by the public water utility. In
the event of a release to waters of the state that could affect a public water
supply, information about the release shall be promptly made available to any
emergency responders responding to the site of a spill or release and the
general public shall be promptly notified in the event of a chemical spill,
release or related emergency by the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency
(c) The Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management may promulgate emergency rules and shall propose legislative rules, pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to effectuate the provisions of this section: Provided, That no rule so promulgated may restrict public access to information that is already subject to public disclosure under any other state or federal statute.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to revise the exceptions from Freedom of Information Act provided for in the Aboveground Storage Tank Act.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.