The Air Quality Board hears appeals pertaining to the Division of Air Quality’s enforcement and permitting actions. Citizens and the regulated community file appeals with the board. The board maintains records of pleadings, subpoenas witnesses, holds hearings, and rules on matters before it.
The Abandoned Mine Lands & Reclamation corrects hazardous conditions caused by coal mining practices prior to the passage of federal coal mining laws. The coal mining laws require the land to be reclaimed via restoration of the land and water sources. Public health, general welfare, safety, and danger to property are the first priorities of this office.
The Division of Air Quality oversees West Virginia’s air pollution laws by monitoring and controlling the release of air pollutants from industrial and commercial facilities. With permanent monitoring sites located throughout West Virginia, the office samples for air pollutants. The data allow the office to mandate compliance when issuing, enforcing and finding/restricting permits.
The Office of Administration provides technical assistance to program offices; ensures that the DEP adheres to statutory and policy directives regarding internal and personnel management; facilitates efficient use of available technology; oversees management of inventory, facilities, records, and vehicles, and develops and oversees various internal policies and procedures.
The WV DEP’s Voluntary Remediation Program stems from the West Virginia Legislature’s Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Act (VRRA). The VRRA encourages voluntary clean-ups of contaminated sites as well as redevelopments of abandoned and under-utilized properties, in the hope of counteracting the lack of growth on sites with contamination or perceived contamination. The Voluntary Program follows an administrative program set out in the WV Code of State Regulations, Title 60, Series 3 entitled the Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Rule (or simply, the Rule), which became effective on July 1, 1997.
The diverse group of stakeholders that developed both the VRRA and the Rule created a strong program that protects communities and the environment while still promoting economic development in West Virginia. The VRRA provides a flexibility in voluntary clean-ups that marks a turning point in state environmental policy
The Office of Explosives and Blasting regulates all surface mine blasting. Administers pre-blast surveys; trains, examines and certifies all surface coal mining blasters; and administers the claims/arbitration process regarding blasting damage.
The Environmental Enforcement Office promotes compliance with the Solid Waste Management Act, the Water Pollution Control Act, and the Groundwater Protection Act. This is performed by providing assistance and/or enforcing conditions required of municipalities, solid waste facilities, manufacturing industry, and the general public in order to advance the lawful management of solid waste and wastewater.
The Environmental Quality Board hears appeals regarding the issuance or denial of permits, permit conditions, or enforcement actions rendered by the DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management.
The Executive Office is the office of the Governor’s Cabinet Secretary for the DEP.
Phone: (800) 654-5227 ext. 1328
The Office of Environmental Advocate provides daily assistance to the public regarding information requests or complaints. The advocate also serves as an introductory point to DEP programs and processes; assists in the development of information requests, regulation and permit monitoring, preparation for public hearings and meetings with agency personnel; and works in conjunction with the public and DEP personnel to design informational workshops and public education forums.
Phone: (304) 926-0499 ext. 1278
The Homeland Security and Emergency Response group is responsible for a wide range of activities that have impacts far beyond the Agency. Response to chemical and other hazardous materials spills is their highest profile and, perhaps, their most important job. They also serve as the liaison between DEP and other state and federal agencies in times of emergencies. Additionally they represent the State on a number of national and regional homeland security and emergency management study and response groups.
The Information Technology Office provides the DEP with data management and computer services.
The Division of Land Restoration conducts remediation of contaminated sites to standards established by the use of sound science. It encourages voluntary remediation as an effective means of addressing historical contamination in order to protect the present and future public health, safety and welfare, and the environment. The primary objective of the office is to assure coordination of all remediation functions in an effort to avoid unnecessary duplication within the DEP.
The Office of Legal Services provides all legal services to the agency.
The Division of Mining and Reclamation regulates the mining industry in accordance with federal and state law. Activities include issuing and renewing permits of mineral extraction sites and related water quality, tracking ownership and control, and issuing and assessing violations.
The Office of Oil & Gas regulates West Virginia’s oil and gas production and transportation industry, and ensures surface/groundwater protection in regard to oil and gas production. It oversees permitting, inspection, and mine safety issues which deal with location, construction, and plugging of oil and gas wells.
The Public Information Office provides public records, environmental information and education to the public and the media.
The Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) was a strategic initiative signed into law by Governor Joe Manchin in 2005. The Governor's bill combines elements of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Natural Resources into a more effective and streamlined system for the direction of environmental remediation programs. The program provides oversight of litter removal, statewide recycling, and open dump cleanups.
The office of Special Reclamation is part of the Division of Land Restoration. Special Reclamations is mandated by the State of West Virginia to protect public health, safety and property by reclaiming and treating water on all bond forfeited coal mining permits since August 1977 in an expeditious and cost effective manner. Funding is from forfeited bond collections, civil penalties and the Special Reclamation Tax on mined coal.
The Small Business Ombudsman is the liaison between the small business community, DEP program offices, and other government entities. The Ombudsman assists small businesses throughout the state understand and comply with existing and pending state and federal environmental rules, enhance the environment, and prosper in West Virginia.
The Surface Mine Board conducts hearings on appeals in regard to coal mining and quarries. The board hears appeals presented by any party that believes it is aggrieved by a decision of the Cabinet Secretary of the DEP. Decisions appealed include permits issued, permit applications denied, notices of violation and failure to issue notices of violation for alleged violation of law or regulations. The board also hears appeals from parties asking to amend attorney fees when the appealing party believes it makes a substantial contribution to the decision of the board.
The Division of Water and Waste Management establishes guidelines and provides assistance for the manufacturing industry, wastewater treatment plants, landowners and the general public to maintain reasonable standards of purity and quality of waters of West Virginia. The office guards water quality by administering permits, providing financial assistance for the construction of wastewater treatment facilities, and ensuring dam safety.