Home Energy and Environment Roundup: Virginia Senate Democrats Lead the Way  on the Environment and Energy

Roundup: Virginia Senate Democrats Lead the Way  on the Environment and Energy

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From the VA Senate Democratic Caucus:

Roundup: Virginia Senate Democrats Lead the Way  on the Environment and Energy

RICHMOND, Va.: Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus members have introduced many measures that help Virginia make strong steps to address climate change, sea level rise, and our impact on our planet. 

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw and Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “Senate Democrats have introduced bills to protect, preserve, and plan for the future of every corner of the Commonwealth — representing the regional diversity of our members with an eye toward the next generation. We are taking the steps necessary to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2045, and are looking even further beyond to keep Virginia on the cutting edge of conservation, renewable energy, and the job market of the future.”

Bills introduced by Virginia Senate Democrats:

Passed House & Senate:

  • SB 1199, Petersen, restores the conservation focus of the Conservation Easement Act and the Open-Space Land Act, providing for more green and open spaces.
  • SB 1223, Boysko, adds analysis of electric car charging stations and other infrastructure to the Virginia Energy Plan.
  • SB 1247, Deeds, requires carbon-emitting power plants to provide a facility retirement study every 18 months.
  • SB 1252, McPike, prohibits allocation of coal tax credits after January 1, 2022.
  • SB 1265, Deeds, increases the number of natural gas pipelines DEQ has authority to inspect, and allows the Department more reasons to inspect.
  • SB 1274, Marsden, directs agencies to consider incorporating wildlife safety corridors when creating strategic plans.
  • SB 1282, Morrissey, directs DEQ to conduct greenhouse gas emissions inventories.
  • SB 1284, Favola, establishes the Commonwealth Clean Energy Policy, which emphasizes the need for climate action to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045, establishes policy guidance for environmental justice, and addresses clean energy workforce development.
  • SB1290, Mason, creates the ConserveVirginia program, a data-driven model to identify and prioritize conservation opportunities.
  • SB 1311, McClellan, requires a water quality study after work orders have been stopped on pipeline construction.
  • SB 1318, Hashmi, establishes an interagency working group to further environmental justice in the Commonwealth.
  • SB 1350, Lewis, adds resiliency to the list of considerations when prioritizing infrastructure projects through SMARTScale.
  • SB 1393, Marsden, allows localities to create policies that exceed general requirements for tree replacement and conservation in development projects.
  • SB1404, Lewis, allows grants from the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund to be awarded for projects that reduce phosphorus or nitrogen totals, and includes a provision for localities in financial distress to have 50% of the project paid for via the Fund.

Passed Senate, in House:

  • SB 1207, Barker, expands the places an energy storage project can be located.
  • SB 1258, Marsden, implements a statewide process for water quality surrounding a solar energy project.
  • SB 1380, Lucas, permits electric utilities to partner with school divisions to encourage and implement electric school buses.
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