H. B. 2076

(By Delegates Hrutkay, Manuel, Pino,

Spencer and Faircloth)

[Introduced January 9, 2003; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend and reenact section three, article one, chapter twenty-two-b of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the general powers and duties of the environmental boards; and authorizing the environmental boards to hire in-house counsel.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section three, article one, chapter twenty-two-b of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§22B-1-3. General administration.
(a) The chairs of the boards shall exercise the following powers, authorities and duties:
(1) To provide for the management of facilities and personnel of the boards;
(2) To employ, terminate and compensate support staff for the boards and to fix the compensation of that staff, which shall be paid out of the state treasury, upon the requisition of moneys appropriated for such purposes, or from joint funds as the chairs may expend;
(3) To the extent permitted by and consistent with federal or state law, to consolidate, combine or contribute funds of the boards to maintain the central physical facilities and technical and support personnel;
(4) To the extent permitted by and consistent with federal or state law, to consolidate or combine any functions of the boards;
(5) To secure funding with the assistance of the chairs from whatever source permissible by law;
(6) To secure office space, purchase materials and supplies, and enter into contracts necessary, incident or convenient to the accomplishment of the purposes of this chapter;
(7) To expend funds in the name of any of the boards;
(8) To consult with the secretary of the department bureau of commerce, labor and environmental resources, or the successor agency or office, or the director secretary of the division department of environmental protection who shall cooperate with the chairs in order to effectuate the powers, authorities and duties set forth in this section;
(9) To hire individuals, as may be necessary, to serve as hearing examiners for the boards; and
(10) To employ in-house counsel, notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the contrary, to perform all legal services for the board, including, but not limited to, representing the board and its employees in any administrative proceeding or in any proceeding in any state or federal court. Additionally, a board chair may request assistance from the attorney general for legal assistance and representation as he or she determines to be necessary and shall be represented by a deputy or assistant attorney general acceptable to the chair; and
(10) (11) To provide for an individual to serve as the clerk to the boards.
(b) The clerk to the boards has the following duties, to be exercised in consultation with the chairs:
(1) To schedule meetings and hearings and enter all orders properly acted upon;
(2) To receive and send all papers, proceedings, notices, motions and filings;
(3) To the maximum extent practicable, and with the cooperation of the staff and hearing examiners, to assist the boards in the case management of appeals and proceedings;
(4) To maintain records of all proceedings of the boards which shall be entered in a permanent record, properly indexed, and the same shall be carefully preserved for each board. Copies of orders entered by the boards, as well as copies of papers or documents filed with it, shall be maintained in a central location;
(5) To direct and fulfill information requests subject to chapter twenty-nine-b of this code and subject to applicable confidentiality rules set forth in the statutes and rules; and
(6) To perform such other duty or function as may be directed by the chairs to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
(c) The boards shall establish procedural rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the regulation of the conduct of all proceedings before the boards. To the maximum extent practicable, the procedural rules will be identical for each board. The procedural rules of the boards shall be contained in a single set of rules for filing with the secretary of state.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the environmental boards to hire in-house counsel.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.