(By Delegates Staton, Browning, H. White and Moore )
March 16, 2005
; referred to the committee on the
A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §20-1A-10, relating
to the installation of obstructions or structures in
perennial watercourses without a permit issued by the public
land corporation; criteria for the granting of permit
applications; definition of the term structure; penalty for
violations; promulgation of emergency rules.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §20-1A-10, to read as
ARTICLE 1A. REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT AND PROCEDURES.
§20-1A-10. Installation of obstructions in perennial watercourses.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to install,
establish, construct, erect, or modify any structure, in, over,
under or along any perennial watercourse or alter a perennial
watercourse in anyway that diverts, changes, channels, spans, deflects, obstructs, abuts, blocks or restricts the flow of water
except under a permit issued by the public land corporation:
d, That the provisions of this section may not be construed
to amend or limit any riparian rights and remedies created by
statute or common law in existence on the date of the enactment of
(b) No permit shall be granted by the public land
corporation until a written application is made and the applicant
has filed with the application, the written opinion of a civil
engineer certified by the board of registration for professional
engineers or a geologist or hydrologist certified by a nationally
recognized association of geologists or hydrologists, that the
proposed structure is designed and sized in accordance with
legislative rules promulgated by the director of the division of
natural resources pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a
of this code.
(c) For the purpose of this section, the term "structure",
includes, but is not limited to, culverts, crossings, bridges,
bridge abutments or piers, pipelines, and drainage pipes.
(d) Any person in violation of subsection (a) is guilty of
a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less
than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars.
(e) The director of the division of natural resources shall
promulgate emergency rules, and propose for legislative
promulgation, legislative rules pursuant to the provisions of
article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to implement the provisions of this section.
Note: This bill requires a permit issued by the Public Land
Corporation prior to the installation of any structure that
obstructs or spans a perennial watercourse or any change to the
banks of a perennial watercourse under penalty of fine. The
purpose of the bill is to regulate changes to perennial watercourse
that may result in an increased likelihood of flooding.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.