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Bill requiring comp plan modifications for climate change fails to advance

A bill seeking to establish climate change planning requirements for state and local government entities failed to report out of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday night.

HB 672 (Willett) sought to establish a policy to prevent and minimize any actions that contribute to the effects of climate change in the Commonwealth. More specifically, the bill required state agencies to examine any new regulation in furtherance of this policy and required local governments and regional planning commissions to consider the impacts from and causes of climate change in adopting a comprehensive plan, regional strategic plan, or zoning ordinance.

Due to concerns about a lack of clear definitions that the state or local governments could use as well as an overarching hesitation to alter the Code of Virginia provisions related to comprehensive plans, the Committee elected to continue the bill to 2021.  This means that the legislation is effectively dead for the year but could be reevaluated in the next legislative session.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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