Public Comments for: HB364 - Regional planning; climate resilience to be included as part of strategic plans.
Environmental Defense Fund strongly supports both HB 520 and HB 364. HB 520 encourages localities to adopt resilience strategies within their comprehensive plans including strategies to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and adapt to changing conditions and hazardous events. Although current provisions in the Virginia Code currently require some Tidewater localities to include guidance from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to foster the sustainability of shoreline resources; and for Hampton Roads Planning District Commission localities to incorporate strategies to combat sea level rise and recurrent flooding, all localities within Virginia are being impacted by stronger storms and subsequent flood events. Therefore, HB520 proposes that all localities should include resilience strategies in their comprehensive plans. Similarly, Environmental Defense Fund supports HB 364, which adds climate resilience as a subject to be included in regional plans created by planning district commissions. Assessing climate vulnerabilities and opportunities for resilience as a key initial step to developing long-term adaptation strategies that will allow Virginian communities and businesses to thrive in the midst of climate impacts.
I support HB 364, 520, and 1276 and would like to add that LAND USE must be part of our conception of "climate resiliency". Transportation and poor land use account for a lot of climate change, and no serious climate plan can skip over addressing car dependence, sprawl, car culture, lawn culture, and single-use zoning. All this applies to our conception of a "healthy community" too. When more people walk, bike, and take transit to get around, we get healthier communities. Car culture is terrible for public health. I support HB 1346 and would like to add that there needs to be significant emphasis on NATIVE trees and efforts to root out non-native trees, many of which are actively invasive and ecologically harmful. I SUPPORT HB 548.