(a) Any individual supervising any licensed timbering operation, or any individual supervising any timbering operation that is not exempted from the licensing requirements set forth in §19-1B-4 of this code, must be certified pursuant to this section.
(b) The director is responsible for the development of standards and criteria for education, training, and examination that must be successfully completed for persons to be certified to supervise any timbering operation. The certified logger shall attend a total of six hours of training every two years prior to recertification. The program for certified loggers shall, at a minimum, provide for education and training in the safe conduct of timbering operations, in first aid procedures, and in the use of best management practices to prevent soil erosion on timbering operations. The goals of this program will be to assure that timbering operations are conducted in accordance with applicable state and federal safety regulations in a manner that is environmentally sound and safe.
(c) The director shall provide programs using the resources of the division, other appropriate state agencies, educational entities, and other qualified persons. Each inspector under the jurisdiction of the chief shall attend a certification program free of charge and complete the certification requirements of this section.
(d) The director shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code to effectuate the purposes of this article.
(e) Upon a person’s successful completion of the certification requirements, the director shall provide proof of the completion by issuing a numbered certificate and a wallet-sized card to that person. The division shall maintain a record of each certificate issued and the person to whom it was issued.
(f) The certified logger shall submit a fee of $150 for the initial certification application and the renewal application every two years thereafter.
(g) Every timbering operation that is required to be licensed under §19-1B-4 of this code must have at least one person certified pursuant to this section supervising the operation at any time the timbering operation is being conducted. All timbering operators shall be guided by the West Virginia forest practice standards and the West Virginia silvicultural best management practices to reduce sediment movement during a timber operation.
(h) The director shall, at no more than five-year intervals, convene a committee to review the best management practices to ensure that they reflect and incorporate the most current technologies. The committee shall, at a minimum, include a person researching silvicultural best management practices, a person in the field of silviculture, two loggers certified under this article, a representative of the Division of Water and Waste Management of the Department of Environmental Protection, and a representative of an environmental organization. The director shall chair the committee and may amend the best management practices according to the suggestions of the committee for the next certification cycle.