Bill to be heard on Friday, February 17 – Call Your Senators Now to Oppose
HB 2282 (Edmunds), as amended, would allow forest harvesting activities to be exempt from the Virginia Stormwater Management Program even if the land does not intend to be reforested or turned into agricultural use. In effect, these changes in the law could allow for land disturbance activities, not associated with future forestry and agriculture, to be exempt from stormwater regulations if the applicant cuts down the forested areas to harvest the trees.
VACo is concerned that this proposed exemption could lead to land disturbance activities for residential and commercial development to proceed without understanding full impacts to water quality and erosion.
ACTION REQUIRED – Call your SENATORS today to oppose HB 2282. Bill will be heard on the Senate floor on Friday, February 17.
This bill narrowly reported out of the House of Delegates and then passed a Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources subcommittee by an 8-7 vote.
- HB 2282 undermines local authority to protect local water quality and removes any opportunity to work with developers to maintain existing trees.
- This bill may result in negative impacts in local water quality and erosion control as land disturbance activities for development are not properly evaluated.
- This new exemption could allow for certain land clearing activities for future potential development to proceed without first receiving a stormwater permit.
- Under current code, the clearing of land for the harvesting of forest products is exempt from the Virginia Stormwater Management Plan so long as the land is, “reforested artificially or naturally,” or, “converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture.”
VACo Contact: James Hutzler (804.343.250