Compromise wetland and stream mitigation bank credits bill heads to Senate floor

February 18, 2021

A compromise bill dealing with wetland and stream mitigation bank credits has passed cleared its first hurdle in the Senate, reporting out of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee by a unanimous 13-0 vote.

HB 1983 (Bulova) is the result of a series virtual workgroup meetings that featured developers, environmental organizations, and local governments.  The bill proposes that when a water protection permit applicant is required to purchase wetland or stream mitigation bank credits but no credits are available either (1) in any mitigation provider’s primary service area or (2) at a cost of less than 200% of the price of credits available from a fund dedicated to achieving no net loss of wetland acreage and functions, the applicant may purchase or use credits from a mitigation provider’s secondary service area. The bill provides certain requirements that the permit applicant must comply with in order to purchase or use such credits from a secondary service area, including minimum tree canopy requirements. The bill was strategically designed to strike a balance between water quality and conservation interests and land development interests.

The House of Delegates previously passed HB 1983 several weeks ago (January 25) by a vote of 84-15-1.  HB 1983 will now be heard on the Senate floor and may be voted on as early as the end of this week.

VACo is pleased to support HB 1983 and is grateful to Delegate David Bulova for his hard work on this issue.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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