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§20-2-29. Conservation of species and request for public records.

(a) The director may exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, article one, chapter twenty-nine-b of this code, any record concerning the site-specific location of an animal species protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 7 U.S.C. §136, a plant protected under the Plant Variety Protection Act, 7 U.S.C. §2321:2583 and any plant or animal species native to West Virginia determined by the director to be sensitive and in need of conservation to maintain viability or existence.

(b) The director may not deny the release of records under subsection (a) of this section if requested:

(1) By the owner of the land upon which the resource is located;

(2) By an entity which can take the land through the right of eminent domain; or

(3) For scientific purposes which include, but are not limited to, conservation and education, by a person or entity that demonstrates to the director's satisfaction that the request for information is necessary, will not cause harm to the plant or animal species, and that the person or entity will use the information only for the limited purpose which is the basis for the request of information. The director retains the right to provide any such data in a form which in his or her opinion, is of sufficient resolution to satisfy that request and is not obligated to provide exact coordinate data.

(c) Persons or entities receiving records under this subsection may not release the information to the public or release the information to another entity for commercial purposes.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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