HB 1983 (Bulova), a compromise bill dealing with wetland and stream mitigation bank credits, has successfully completed its journey through the General Assembly and will now be sent to the Governor.
HB 1983 is the result of a series virtual work group 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 passed HB 1983 on January 25 by a vote of 84-15-1. On Friday, February 19, the Senate followed suite, passing the legislation by a vote of 39-0. The bill will now head to the Governor’s desk for action.
VACo has been pleased to support and speak on behalf of HB 1983 as it has wound its way through the General Assembly, and we are grateful to Delegate Bulova for his hard work on this issue.
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.