Siltation of Streams
siltation caused by logging is regulated in West Virginia
under the 1992 Logging Sediment Control Act [W. Va.
Code Ch. 19, art. 1B] through voluntary "best
management practices" (BMPs) administered
by the Division of Forestry within the Bureau of Commerce.
Violations occur when failure to follow a BMP "is
causing or contributing, or has the potential to
cause or contribute to soil erosion or water pollution."
As a practical matter, enforcement
of the law is initiated by citizen complaints and
follow-through by the Division of Forestry's limited number
of inspectors. The Chief of the Office of Water Resources
within WVDEP, upon a finding of violation of a BMP, "shall
notify the director" (Forestry) of the violation. Also,
the Director (Forestry) may find that a BMP has not been
followed, resulting in a violation. The Director's remedy
is to issue an appealable written compliance order. Question:
Where are the teeth in this remedy?
Timbering license. Since
1992 anyone conducting "timbering operations"
or purchasing timber or buying logs for resale has been
required to obtain a license from the Division of
Forestry. Regulations set forth procedures for acquisition,
suspension, and revocation. Under the Code the Director
may suspend the timber operation if it endangers life or
results in "uncorrectable soil erosion or water
pollution," or if an operator is not licensed,
or if a certified logger is not supervising the operation.
The Logging Sediment Control Act gives additional authority
to the Director to suspend and revoke a timbering license
for one who violates the state's Water Pollution Control
Act [W. Va. Code ch. 22, art.11].
Last updated on Thursday, September 28, 2000