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The Office of Coalfield Community Development (OCCD) was created during the 1999 legislative session to assist communities affected by surface mining activity throughout the state. The legislation was effective June 11, 1999, and the OCCD became operational July 1, 2000.

In July 2007, the OCCD became part of the new West Virginia Division of Energy, under the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

The OCCD is responsible for collecting community impact statements from coal mine operators applying for new or renewed surface-mine applications.

As of July 1, 2009, counties with surface mine properties will be required to produce a Land Use Master Plan for coal operators to use for post-mine development within their mining permits. The Land Use Master Plan is to specifically deal with uses of mined properties in accordance with West Virginia Code and approved rules of the US Office of Surface Mining. The legislation requires the Office of Coalfield Community Development to assist in the creation of these plans and to review them to ensure they meet all criteria.

The office will provide:
  • Information for each coalfield county to help initiate partnerships.
  • Upon request, the OCCD will provide a representative to assist in evaluating this information.
  • Upon request, the OCCD will assist with research, study and information gathering.
  • Partnerships between the OCCD and the Brownfields Assistance Centers at Marshall and West Virginia Universities
  • Be the repository for information helpful in the planning process