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Hearing on changes to Berkeley Co. clean air law Sept. 10

August 28, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A public hearing will be held at Hedgesville High School on Sept. 10 to receive comments about proposed revisions to the Berkeley County Clean Air Regulation.

The session will begin at 6 p.m., according to department administrator Bill Kearns.

Smoking in bars and most hotel and motel rooms would no longer be allowed in Berkeley County if changes to clean air rules being considered by the Berkeley County Board of Health are adopted.

The proposed regulations are posted on the agency's Web site (www.bchealthdept.org/) and copies of the draft are available at the agency's clinical services building off South Queen Street at 800 Emmett Rousch Drive and Berkeley County's administrative office building at 400 W. Stephen St., Kearns said.

The most substantial change proposed is the elimination of an exemption for "free standing" bars, which are defined under the current rules as establishments that have 50 percent or greater total sales in alcoholic beverages, health department officials have said.

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Private residences would remain exempt and bingo operations that distribute more than 100 bingo cards or bingo sheets also would not be regulated in accordance with a 2003 West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals decision.

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