(a) The purposes and duties of the historic preservation section are to locate, survey, investigate, register, identify, preserve, protect, restore and recommend to the commissioner for acquisition historic, architectural, archaeological and cultural sites, structures and objects worthy of preservation, including human skeletal remains, graves, grave artifacts and grave markers, relating to the State of West Virginia and the territory included therein from the earliest times to the present upon its own initiative or in cooperation with any private or public society, organization or agency; to conduct a continuing survey and study throughout the state to develop a state plan to determine the needs and priorities for the preservation, restoration or development of the sites, structures and objects; to direct, protect, excavate, preserve, study or develop the sites and structures; to review all undertakings permitted, funded, licensed or otherwise assisted, in whole or in part, by the state for the purposes of furthering the duties of the section; to carry out the duties and responsibilities enumerated in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, as they pertain to the duties of the section; to develop and maintain a West Virginia State Register of Historic Places for use as a planning tool for state and local government; to cooperate with state and federal agencies in archaeological work; to issue permits for the excavation or removal of human skeletal remains, grave artifacts and grave markers, archaeological and prehistoric and historic features under the provisions of section eight-a of this article; and to perform any other duties as may be assigned to the section by the commissioner.
(b) With the advice and consent of the Archives and History Commission, the commissioner shall appoint a director of the historic preservation section who shall have: (1) A graduate degree in one of the social sciences or equivalent training and experience in the field of historic preservation, archaeology, West Virginia history or history; and (2) three years' experience in administration in the field of West Virginia history, history, historic preservation or archaeology. The director of the historic preservation section shall serve as the deputy state historic preservation officer.
(c) With the approval of the commissioner, the director shall establish professional positions within the section and develop appropriate organizational structures to carry out the duties of the section. The director shall employ the personnel with applicable professional qualifications to fill positions within the organizational structure with the minimum professional qualifications necessary to carry out the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. At the minimum, the following professions shall be represented within the section staff: Historian, architectural historian, a structural historian who specializes in historical preservation, an archaeologist specializing in historic and prehistoric archaeology and such technical and clerical positions as are required.
(d) The director shall promulgate rules with the approval of the archives and history commission and in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code concerning: (1) The professional policies and functions of the historic preservation section; (2) the review of and, when required, issuance of permits for all undertakings permitted, funded, licensed or otherwise assisted, in whole or in part, by the state as indicated in subsection (a) of this section in order to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the section; (3) the establishment and maintenance of a West Virginia State Register of Historic Places, including the criteria for eligibility of buildings, structures, sites, districts and objects for the state Register and procedures for nominations to the state Register and protection of nominated and listed properties; (4) the review of historic structures in accordance with compliance alternatives and other provisions in any state fire regulation and shall coordinate standards with the appropriate regulatory officials regarding their application; (5) review of historic structures in conjunction with existing state or local building codes and shall coordinate standards with the appropriate regulatory officials for their application; and (6) any other rules as may be considered necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article.