Public Comment Opportunity – Trees and New Chesapeake Bay Regulations

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has published proposed amendment to the current Chesapeake Bay Preservation regulations that guide local governments in implementing the program. You can find a good summary of the amendment here. You can make comments until May 3rd. See details below.

The amendment provides clarity and specifics for local governments who are responsible for implementing the program. It also ensures that projects and development under the  properly consider climate change impacts while also allowing these activities. This permits individuals to undertake these activities to address these impacts. Trees could become important tools under these changes if properly drafted.

HOW TO COMMENT:

You can find the full text of the amendment here. The following are the directions for making your comments to DEQ.

“In addition to any other comments, the State Water Control Board is seeking comments on the costs and benefits of the proposal, the potential impacts of this regulatory proposal and any impacts of the regulation on farm and forest land preservation. The agency/board is also seeking information on impacts on small businesses as defined in § 2.2-4007.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Information may include 1) projected reporting, recordkeeping and other administrative costs, 2) probable effect of the regulation on affected small businesses, and 3) description of less intrusive or costly alternative methods of achieving the purpose of the regulation. Anyone wishing to submit written comments for the public comment file may do so by mail, email or fax to Justin Williams, VA Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218; Phone: 804-698-4195; Fax: 804-698-4116; Email: Justin.Williams@deq.virginia.gov.

Comments may also be submitted through the Public Forum feature of the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall web site at (http://www.townhall.virginia.gov). Written comments must include the name and address of the commenter. In order to be considered, comments must be received by 11:59 pm on the last day of the public comment period.

Additionally, anyone wishing to participate in a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) to discuss the proposed regulation, please notify interest to Justin Williams, VA Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218; Phone: 804-698-4195; Fax: 804-698-4116; Email: Justin.Williams@deq.virginia.gov by March 15, 2021. Interested persons should provide their name, address, phone number, email address and the organization you represent (if any). The SAG will likely meet May 13th or 14th and selected interested person should be available for meeting on those dates.