Close this search box.

The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Bill Creating New Stormwater Exemption for Tree Clearing Dies in Senate

HB 2282 (Edmunds), as amended, would have allowed for 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.  The concern is 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.

HB 2282 has been controversial from the start with split votes as the bill made its way through the various committees in the House.  HB 2282 would eventually pass its original chamber narrowly.  After crossover, the bill squeaked out of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources by a vote of 8-7.  The bill came to a final stop when it met its demise on the Senate floor, 16-24.

VACo wants to sincerely thank our members for their continued advocacy and for responding decisively to our multiple Capitol Contact Alerts on the matter.  VACo will continue to advocate for local authority to preserve water quality and additional flexibility in preserving and replacing tree canopies.

VACo Contact: James Hutzler

Share This
Recent Posts