Signature Sponsor
WV Legislative Update: Day 27



February 5, 2024 - The West Virginia Legislature will hit the mid-way point of the 2024 Regular Legislative Session this week with myriad coal and energy issues advancing through the committee process in both Houses. 


WVCA's top legislative priority -- HB 4722, Tax Credit For Road And Highway Infrastructure Improvements And Coal Production and Processing facilities” was passed out of the House of Delegates Technology and Infrastructure Committee and is now before the Hose Finance Committee where it will likely be worked this week. The legislation establishes a 20% credit against severance tax for expenditures associated with approved infrastructure projects and qualifying mine production equipment.  The stacking of individual expenditures or total credit cannot exceed 50% of a taxpayer’s overall severance liability.  The text of the bill is available at


Other legislation advancing impacting coal:


HB 5054 to administration of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) permitting program and amends that section of code to clarify the relationship of the UIC program to other Clean Water Act regulatory structures such as the Safe Drinking Water Act.  The changes are intended to address concerns raised by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP) seeks state primacy of Class Six  UIC wells for carbon dioxide injection.  The bill was advanced by the House Energy Committee last week and is up for passage later today.  A copy of the bill is available at  Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate as SB 596


HB 5223 creates the Revitalization Southern Coalfield Resiliency and Revitalization Program for Boone, Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties.  The bill as considered and amended in House Energy last week and now goes to the House Government Organization Committee.  The legislation joins together 5 southern counties for purposes of applying for state and federal loan and assistance programs. As amended, the Council must give priority to utilizing existing natural resource development. The body would work with officials within the coal industry, and the Commerce Department to educate businesses investing or interested in investing in the southern coalfields about access to economic development assistance, including tax credits.  A copy of the bill is available at

Several administrative rules are making their way through the session as part of the state’s Legislative Rulemaking Review Process (LRRC).  Senate Bill 2  is the consolidated WV DEP rule package with 12 separate rules under series 45 CSR 1, related to the state’s Clean Air Act programs.  The changes in all 12 rules were intended to address EPA’s April 2023 disapproval of West Virginia’s 2017 State Implementation Plan and its provisions regarding alternative emission limits during start up, shutdown and malfunction periods.  The EPA-mandated changes were necessary to maintain state primacy over the affected programs.  Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is legally challenging EPA’s disapproval of the SIP on behalf of WV DEP, and during the public comment period on the proposed rules WV DEP added “savings clause” language to each of the 12 separate rule changes that would invalidate the EPA-mandated revisions and return the state rules to original language and meaning should the federal disapproval be overturned in litigation.  SB 2 has passed the Senate and is pending in the House Judiciary Committee.  Copies of the rule changes are available on the Secretary of State’s website under the various rule sections.  The changes to 45 CSR 1 (all 11 of the changes are virtually identical) can be viewed at The House of Delegates has also considered all the WV DEP rule legislation and is expected to ultimately adopt the Senate version of the rules. 


There are several rules related to the state’s mine safety program that are also being considered during the session as part of LRRC.  Previously promulgated by the Office of Miners’ Health Safety & Training, these rules include changes to state safety rules governing clearing crews, protective equipment, drug testing, diesel equipment and registration of independent contractors:


HB 4090 relating to safety of clearing crews.

HB 4091relating to safety of protective clothing and equipment.

HB 4092 relating to reporting requirements for independent contractors.

HB 4094 relating to the application process of innovative mine safety technology tax credit.

HB 4095 relating to the sharing of information between employers.

HB 4096 relating to substance abuse screening standards and procedures.

HB 4097 relating to the operation of diesel equipment in underground mine.


These rules were reviewed and approved by House Energy Committee and are pending in the House Judiciary Committee, where they will bundled as one piece of legislation before they are considered by the full House of Delegates.  The text of each induvial rule can be viewed on the Secretary of State’s website under the Administrative Rules index page at


The West Virginia Public Energy Authority (PEA) has a rule package related to closure of any coal fired electric generating facility.  HB 4103  would codify the PEA’s new rule at 53 CSR 05 that has been operating and in effect as an emergency rule since June 0f last year.  The rule requires PEA approval of any application to close an electric generating facility within the state.  The rule text is available at  Senate Bill 609,  passed last year granted the PEA the authority to approve generating plant closures and directed the agency to promulgate an emergency rule.  The PEA rules bill was reviewed and approved by the House Energy Committee and is now pending in the House Judiciary Committee. 


We are closely monitoring other bills, including several related to administration of the state’s coal miners’ pneumoconiosis program, a proposed bill that will eliminate the state’s alternative bonding system the Special Reclamation Fund and several well-plugging bills.  Attached is summary spreadsheet of the bills the Association is actively monitoring (updated through Friday of last week).


A special WVCA Membership Meeting is planned for the afternoon of Thursday, February 29 at the Beni Kedum Shriners Temple in Charleston to review and discuss the 2024 legislative session and key political races underway around the state.  All WVCA members are encouraged to attend and help raise needed dollars for our Political Action Committee and WVCA-endorsed candidates. Please plan to attend this important afternoon meeting which will conclude with a legislative reception. A program and meeting times will be disseminated soon.