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Introduced Version House Bill 2961 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia legislature

2019 regular session

Introduced

House Bill 2961

By Delegates Fast, C. Martin, Foster, Mandt and Butler

[Introduced February 11, 2019; Referred
to the Committee on Technology and Infrastructure then Government Organization.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §16-1-4, 16-1-9, and §16-1-9a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to permitting the commissioner to require a water supply system be equipped with a backflow prevention assembly; requiring the appropriate water utility to install the backflow prevention assembly at the meter; requiring the appropriate water utility to maintain the backflow prevention assembly; and requiring the water utility to provide information relating to maintenance and necessity for any backflow prevention assembly.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


article 1. state public health system.

§16-1-4.  Proposal of rules by the secretary.


(a) The secretary may propose rules in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq of this code that are necessary and proper to effectuate the purposes of this chapter. The secretary may appoint or designate advisory councils of professionals in the areas of hospitals, nursing homes, barbers and beauticians, postmortem examinations, mental health and intellectual disability centers and any other areas necessary to advise the secretary on rules.

(b) The rules may include, but are not limited to, the regulation of:

(1) Land usage endangering the public health: Provided, That no rules may be promulgated or enforced restricting the subdivision or development of any parcel of land within which the individual tracts, lots or parcels exceed two acres each in total surface area and which individual tracts, lots or parcels have an average frontage of not less than 150 feet even though the total surface area of the tract, lot or parcel equals or exceeds two acres in total surface area, and which tracts are sold, leased or utilized only as single-family dwelling units. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, nothing in this section may be construed to abate the authority of the department to:

(A) Restrict the subdivision or development of a tract for any more intense or higher density occupancy than a single-family dwelling unit;

(B) Propose or enforce rules applicable to single-family dwelling units for single-family dwelling unit sanitary sewerage disposal systems; or

(C) Restrict any subdivision or development which might endanger the public health, the sanitary condition of streams or sources of water supply;

(2) The sanitary condition of all institutions and schools, whether public or private, public conveyances, dairies, slaughterhouses, workshops, factories, labor camps, all other places open to the general public and inviting public patronage or public assembly, or tendering to the public any item for human consumption and places where trades or industries are conducted;

(3) Occupational and industrial health hazards, the sanitary conditions of streams, sources of water supply, sewerage facilities and plumbing systems and the qualifications of personnel connected with any of those facilities, including determining whether the use of a backflow prevention assembly is necessary on any plumbing system, without regard to whether the supplies or systems are publicly or privately owned; and the design of all water systems, plumbing systems, sewerage systems, sewage treatment plants, excreta disposal methods and swimming pools in this state, whether publicly or privately owned;

(4) Safe drinking water, including:

(A) The maximum contaminant levels to which all public water systems must conform in order to prevent adverse effects on the health of individuals and, if appropriate, treatment techniques that reduce the contaminant or contaminants to a level which will not adversely affect the health of the consumer. The rule shall contain provisions to protect and prevent contamination of wellheads and well fields used by public water supplies so that contaminants do not reach a level that would adversely affect the health of the consumer;

(B) The minimum requirements for: Sampling and testing; system operation; public notification by a public water system on being granted a variance or exemption or upon failure to comply with specific requirements of this section and rules promulgated under this section; record keeping; laboratory certification; as well as procedures and conditions for granting variances and exemptions to public water systems from state public water systems rules; and

(C) The requirements covering the production and distribution of bottled drinking water and may establish requirements governing the taste, odor, appearance and other consumer acceptability parameters of drinking water;

(5) Food and drug standards, including cleanliness, proscription of additives, proscription of sale and other requirements in accordance with §16-7-1 et seq of the code as are necessary to protect the health of the citizens of this state;

(6) The training and examination requirements for emergency medical service attendants and emergency medical care technician-paramedics; the designation of the health care facilities, health care services and the industries and occupations in the state that must have emergency medical service attendants and emergency medical care technician-paramedics employed and the availability, communications and equipment requirements with respect to emergency medical service attendants and to emergency medical care technician-paramedics. Any regulation of emergency medical service attendants and emergency medical care technician- paramedics may not exceed the provisions of article four-c of this chapter;

(7) The health and sanitary conditions of establishments commonly referred to as bed and breakfast inns. For purposes of this article, “bed and breakfast inn” means an establishment providing sleeping accommodations and, at a minimum, a breakfast for a fee. The secretary may not require an owner of a bed and breakfast providing sleeping accommodations of six or fewer rooms to install a restaurant-style or commercial food service facility. The secretary may not require an owner of a bed and breakfast providing sleeping accommodations of more than six rooms to install a restaurant-type or commercial food service facility if the entire bed and breakfast inn or those rooms numbering above six are used on an aggregate of two weeks or less per year;

(8) Fees for services provided by the Bureau for Public Health including, but not limited to, laboratory service fees, environmental health service fees, health facility fees and permit fees;

(9) The collection of data on health status, the health system and the costs of health care;

(c) The secretary shall propose a rule for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq of this code for the distribution of state aid to local health departments and basic public health services funds.

The rule shall include the following provisions:

Base allocation amount for each county;

Establishment and administration of an emergency fund of no more than two percent of the total annual funds of which unused amounts are to be distributed back to local boards of health at the end of each fiscal year;

A calculation of funds utilized for state support of local health departments;

Distribution of remaining funds on a per capita weighted population approach which factors coefficients for poverty, health status, population density and health department interventions for each county and a coefficient which encourages counties to merge in the provision of public health services;

A hold-harmless provision to provide that each local health department receives no less in state support for a period of four years beginning in the 2009 budget year.

The Legislature finds that an emergency exists and, therefore, the secretary shall file an emergency rule to implement the provisions of this section pursuant to the provisions of §29A-3-15 of this code. The emergency rule is subject to the prior approval of the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability prior to filing with the Secretary of State.

 (d) The secretary may propose rules for legislative approval that may include the regulation of other health-related matters which the department is authorized to supervise and for which the rule-making authority has not been otherwise assigned.

§16-1-9. Duties and powers of the commissioner; supervision over local sanitation; violations; jurisdiction; penalties.


No person, firm, company, corporation, institution or association, whether public or private, county or municipal, may install or establish any system or method of drainage, water supply, or sewage or excreta disposal without first obtaining a written permit to install or establish the system or method from the commissioner or his or her authorized representative. All systems or methods shall be installed or established in accordance with plans, specifications and instructions issued by the commissioner or which have been approved in writing by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative.

Whenever the commissioner or his or her authorized representative finds, upon investigation, that any system or method of drainage, water supply, or sewage or excreta disposal, whether publicly or privately owned, has not been installed in accordance with plans, specifications and instructions issued by the commissioner or approved in writing by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative, the commissioner or his or her authorized representative shall issue an order requiring the owner of the system or method to make alterations necessary to correct the improper condition. The alterations shall be made within a reasonable time, which shall not exceed 30 days, unless a time extension is authorized by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative.

The commissioner can determine that any water supply system must be equipped with a backflow prevention assembly to protect the health and sanitation of water, whether publicly or privately owned, and that the backflow prevention assembly must be installed by the appropriate water utility at the meter and must be regularly maintained by the water utility, all maintenance activities must be documented by the water utility for every backflow prevention assembly required or authorized by the commissioner and provided to the commissioner upon request.  All backflow prevention assemblies required to be installed pursuant to this code shall be installed at the expense of the water utility.  

The presence of sewage or excreta being disposed of in a manner not approved by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative constitutes prima facie evidence of the existence of a condition endangering public health.

The personnel of the Bureau for Public Health shall be available to consult and advise with any person, firm, company, corporation, institution or association, whether publicly or privately owned, county or municipal, or public service authority, as to the most appropriate design, method of operation or alteration of any system or method.

Any person, firm, company, corporation, institution or association, whether public or private, county or municipal, violating any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500. Any continuing failure or refusal of the convicted person, firm, company, corporation, institution or association, whether public or private, county or municipal, to make the alterations necessary to protect the public health required by the commissioner or his or her authorized representative is a separate, distinct and additional offense for each 24 hour period of failure or refusal, and, upon conviction thereof, the violator shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $500 for each conviction: Provided, That none of the provisions contained in this section apply to those commercial or industrial wastes that are subject to the regulatory control of the West Virginia Division Department of Environmental Protection.

Magistrates have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts of this state for violations of any provisions of this section.

§16-1-9a. Regulation of public water systems.


(a) The commissioner shall regulate public water systems as prescribed in this section.

(b) The commissioner shall establish by legislative rule, in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq of this code:

(1) The maximum contaminant levels to which all public water systems shall conform in order to prevent adverse effects on the health of individuals;

(2) Treatment techniques that reduce the contaminant or contaminants to a level which will not adversely affect the health of the consumer;

(3) Provisions to protect and prevent contamination of wellheads and well fields used by public water supplies so that contaminants do not reach a level that would adversely affect the health of the consumer;

(4) Minimum requirements for:

(A) Sampling and testing;

(B) System operation;

(C) Public notification by a public water system on being granted a variance or exemption or upon failure to comply with specific requirements of this section and regulations promulgated under this section;

(D) Recordkeeping;

(E) Laboratory certification; and

(F) Procedures and conditions for granting variances and exemptions to public water systems from state public water systems' regulations;

(5) Requirements covering the production and distribution of bottled drinking water;

(6) Requirements governing the taste, odor, appearance and other consumer acceptability parameters of drinking water; and

(7) Any requirement for any water supply system the commissioner determines is necessary to be equipped with a backflow prevention assembly to be installed and maintained by the appropriate water utility, all maintenance activities must be documented and provided to the commissioner upon request; and

(8) Any other requirement the commissioner finds necessary to effectuate the provisions of this article.

(c) The commissioner or his or her authorized representatives or designees may enter any part of a public water system, whether or not the system is in violation of a legal requirement, for the purpose of inspecting, sampling or testing and shall be furnished records or information reasonably required for a complete inspection.

(d) The commissioner, his or her authorized representative or designee may conduct an evaluation necessary to assure the public water system meets federal safe drinking water requirements. The public water system shall provide a written response to the commissioner within 30 days of receipt of the evaluation by the public water system, addressing corrective actions to be taken as a result of the evaluation.

(e)(1) Any individual or entity who violates any provision of this article, or any of the rules or orders issued pursuant to this article, is liable for a civil penalty not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000. Each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense.

(2) For a willful violation of a provision of this article, or of any of the rules or orders issued under this article, an individual or entity shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 and each day's violation shall be grounds for a separate penalty.

(3) Civil penalties are payable to the commissioner. All moneys collected under this section shall be deposited into a restricted account known as the Safe Drinking Water Fund. All moneys deposited into the fund shall be used by the commissioner to provide technical assistance to public water systems.

(f) The commissioner, or his or her authorized representative, may also seek injunctive relief in the circuit court of the county in which all or part of the public water system is located for threatened or continuing violations.

 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the commissioner to require a water supply system be equipped with a backflow prevention assembly; requiring the appropriate water utility to install the backflow prevention assembly at the meter; requiring the appropriate water utility to maintain the backflow prevention assembly; and requiring the water utility to provide information relating to maintenance and necessity for any backflow prevention assembly.

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

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