Legislation introduced by Senator Lynwood Lewis establishing a Carbon Sequestration Task Force has now passed the House and Senate and will be sent to Governor Ralph Northam for review and eventual signing.
SB 1374 (Lewis) directs the Secretary of Natural Resources, jointly with the Secretary of Agriculture and Consumer Services, to convene a task force for the purpose of studying carbon sequestration in the Commonwealth and submit a report of its findings before the first day of the 2022 Session of the General Assembly.
The bill directs the task force to:
- Consider possible methods of increasing carbon sequestration within the natural environment through state land and marine resources use policies; agricultural, aquacultural, and silvicultural practices; and other practices to achieve restoration of natural resources and long term conservation;
- Recommend short-term and long-term benchmarks for increasing carbon sequestration;
- Develop a standardized methodology to establish baseline carbon levels and account for increases in carbon sequestration over time;
- Identify existing carbon markets and considerations relevant to potential participation by the Commonwealth; and
- Identify other potential funding mechanisms to encourage carbon sequestration practices in the Commonwealth.
SB 1374 previously passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House on February 16 by a vote of 79-20 with amendments. The Senate agreed to the House’s amendments and passed the revised legislation, 38-0.
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.