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Commonwealth's Counties

Tree preservation bill takes root in Senate

Having already passed the full House of Delegates, HB 520 (Bulova) has successfully cleared its first hurdle in the Senate, reporting out of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee by a 13-2 vote on February 18.

HB 520 directs the Department of Environmental Quality 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).  The bill 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 that can help meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).

VACo has been proud to speak in support of HB 520 as it has now been heard in Committee in each chamber.  HB 520 will now head to the full Senate, which will likely vote on the measure early next week.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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