West Virginia coal-truck bill nears passage

| 3/10/2003

Gov. Bob Wise said Thursday he’s likely to sign into law a bill raising the legal weight limit for coal trucks – as long as it retains strict standards for enforcing the higher limits, The Charleston Gazette reported.

Wise was critical of the industry-backed bill when it was first introduced in the Senate, saying the 19-page proposal skimped on details for enforcing higher weight limits. Several amendments totaling 40 pages were later added to the bill.

Among the amendments to SB583 was a call to expand the system of “coal resource transportation roads” to certain routes in Greenbrier, Clay, Nicholas and Webster counties. They are in addition to the 12 counties already included in the bill.

As written, coal trucks would be charged a penny a ton for using the coal haul roads, with the revenue going into a special fund for maintaining those roads.

Another amendment would restore language from a bill the governor introduced in a special session last July to strengthen enforcement of the restrictions on coal shippers, haulers and receivers.

The bill passed the Senate March 5 and was approved by the House Judiciary Committee the following day. It now heads to the full House for consideration.