§64-3-3. Directing further study of 45CSR37.
(a) The Legislature declares that mercury is highly toxic, persistent and bioaccumulates in the food chain and is transported through the atmosphere and deposits on land and water bodies, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, other serious human health risks, known and unknown, may result from human exposure of mercury in any amount. Emissions from electric utility coal fired steam generating units and other industrial activities cause significant discharges of mercury in West Virginia, therefore, it is appropriate to closely monitor these activities and study this pollutant.

(b) The Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health, pursuant to and consistent with section six, article one, chapter sixteen of this code, is directed to participate with the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct an assessment on the actual and potential human health pathways and risks from mercury consumption and make appropriate recommendations to the Department of Environmental Protection.

(c) Pursuant to and consistent with section three-a, article one, chapter twenty-two of this code. The Division of Air Quality and the Department of Environmental Protection are directed to further study 45CSR37 [Mercury Budget Trading Program to Reduce Mercury Emissions] to evaluate scientific evidence, considering specific environmental characteristics of West Virginia, hold public hearings and accept and review appropriate evidence regarding mercury exposure, including recommendations from the Bureau for Public Health. The Department of Environmental Protection shall also conduct an assessment which is also to include an evaluation of the available mercury control technologies for coal-fired steam generating units and other industrial activities that emit mercury, the availability and cost of mercury measurements technology and an analysis of feasibility of implementation of these technologies. The Division of Air Quality shall also consider and address any Bureau for Public Health recommendations considering health risks of West Virginians, and enter a finding as to whether the citizens of West Virginia or regions of West Virginia are exposed to a potential health risk because of mercury contamination, and if so, to propose for legislative promulgation prior to the first day of January, two thousand seven, revisions to 45 CSR 37 and any other appropriate rulemaking to effectuate its findings. The division may also recommend legislation that may be necessary to protect human health and the environment consistent with the division's findings.