Virginia Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, introduced
legislation Feb. 17 to allow trucks to haul 120,000 pounds
of coal on certain state roads.
routes would be approved by the state Transportation Department.
introduced on the last day for senators to file legislation
during the 60-day session, is expected to generate considerable
controversy. The House of Delegates axed a similar bill last
year after a campaign against it.
residents insist the heavier trucks put them at risk, The
Dominion Post reported. Coal and some trucking industry
officials say weights must be increased to make coal hauling
proposal would require coal haulers to buy annual permits
for $500, with the revenue going for upkeep on coal truck
routes. Violators would get higher fines and stronger regulations.
bill is likely to pass the Senate, the newspaper reported.
The real fight is expected in the House.
Mike Caputo, D-Marion, who led opposition last time, told The
Post he would oppose any weight increase.
don’t think there’s much question that the majority of voters
of this state don’t want to see heavier trucks on the road,” Caputo
said. “Members will have to decide whether to listen to constituents
or to the lobbying efforts of the coal industry.”