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), has passed out of the House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee and will now be heard by the full House of Delegates. A final vote by the House will most likely be taken early next week.
As noted previously in Capitol Contact, HB 520 was the result of several months of stakeholder conversations and negotiations between Arlington County, the Home Builders Association of Virginia (HBAV), VACo, and VML 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 has been pleased to testify on behalf of HB 520 as it has made its way through the House. We are grateful for the work Delegate David Bulova has done with this legislation and are eager to continue to support this bill as it continues its journey through the General Assembly.
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.