Senate Bill No. 387
(By Senators Unger and Beach)
[Introduced January 23, 2012; referred to the Committee on Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §15-5-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to floodplain management training; requiring all floodplain managers to complete yearly training; and providing that another manager may take over the responsibilities of a manager who has not completed the required training.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §15-5-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.
§15-5-20. Disaster prevention.
(a) In addition to disaster prevention measures as included in the state, local, regional and interjurisdictional disaster plans, the Governor shall consider on a continuing basis steps that could be taken to prevent or reduce the harmful consequences of disasters. At his or her direction, and pursuant to any other authority and competence they have, state agencies, including, but not limited to, those charged with responsibilities in connection with floodplain management, stream encroachment and flow regulation, weather modification, fire prevention and control, air quality, public works, land use and land-use planning and construction standards, shall make studies of disaster prevention-related matters. The Governor, from time to time, shall make such recommendation to the Legislature, political subdivisions and other appropriate public and private entities as may facilitate measures for prevention or reduction of the harmful consequences of disasters.
(b) At the request of and in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Services, the divisions of energy, natural resources and highways and any state department insured by the Board of Risk and Insurance Management shall keep land use and construction of structures and other facilities under continuing study and identify areas which are particularly susceptible to severe land shifting, subsidence, flooding or other catastrophic occurrences. Such studies shall concentrate on means of reducing or avoiding the dangers caused by such occurrences and the consequences thereof.
(c) In conjunction with the Board of Risk and Insurance Management and such other offices or agencies of state government as the board may deem appropriate, the director of the Office of Emergency Services shall make a multiannual report to the West Virginia Disaster Recovery Board on the existence and location of abandoned motor vehicles, trash, debris and refuse that may in the event of a disaster cause an obstruction to natural water flow and thereby cause excessive and more extensive damage to property. The report shall further set forth a plan to remove and dispose of such trash, debris and refuse within the following multiannual reporting period.
(d) Community participation in the National Flood Insurance Program is important to manage and mitigate the special flood hazard areas in West Virginia. It is, therefore, a requirement for all state, county, municipality, and local flood plain managers to be adequately trained in flood plain management. On and after the enactment of this section during the 2012 regular legislative session, each flood plain manager shall be required to complete six hours of education yearly to maintain good standing with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security. Governmental units failing to obtain the required training shall relinquish flood plain management responsibilities to a unit in good standing and all associated fees shall be transferred to the governmental unit that has taken over those responsibilities.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require flood plain managers to complete yearly training. The bill provides that another manager may take over the responsibilities of a manager who has not completed the required training.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.