I am pleased to inform my constituents that I am returning to the Capitol within the coming weeks and am optimistic for the remainder of the legislative session. As always, I am honored to represent my constituents from the 12th Senatorial District of West Virginia.

The recent chemical leak, on the Elk River that contaminated the water resource which serves residences in 9 counties, shed light on some flaws in our current regulation program. In recent weeks, the Senate has introduced new legislation for consideration to ensure similar situations, like the leak, never happen again.

In particular, Senate Bill 373 will get us one step closer to our goal to protect the great people of West Virginia and our water. As elected officials, it is our first priority to protect the people of West Virginia by ensuring our water resources are clean and safe. This proposal requires all above ground storage tanks, industrial or private, to be registered, inspected and maintained. Stricter regulations will protect people from potential hazards across the whole state.

The Senate also passed Senate Bill 350, new legislation that would require the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture to establish rules and regulations for its loan program. A recent audit of the department found that it has no restrictions for its Rural Rehabilitation Loan Program. Senate Bill 350 outlines a new modernized loan program that would be similar to banking institutions. Lawmakers recognize the importance of the loan program in the aid of agricultural growth in the state and ensure that this legislation doesn’t hinder its aid, just the administering procedures. The bill has now moved to the House for further consideration.

If you should have any questions or comments regarding any issues or bills before the legislature please feel free to contact me. To write me, my address is Senator Douglas Facemire Capitol, Building 1, Room 217W, State Capitol Complex, Charleston, WV 25305. Or you may call me at (304) 357-7845. I encourage all my constituents to remain active and become part of the legislative process.