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Commonwealth's Counties

No need for the chopping block; tree preservation study bill passes House

HB 520 (Bulova), which directs the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to convene a stakeholder advisory group for the purpose of studying the planting or preservation of trees as a land cover type and as a stormwater best management practice (BMP), passed the full House of Delegates by a sweeping 82-17 vote.

HB 520 was the result of several months of stakeholder conversations and negotiations between VACo, the Home Builders Association of Virginia (HBAV), VML, and Arlington County about urban forestry and ways local governments could embrace tree preservation or replanting as a potential stormwater BMP and help meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).

VACo was pleased to testify on behalf of HB 520 as it made its way through the House and will continue to support this important legislation in the Senate.  HB 520 will now be referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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