Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee

Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee

Top News

Note: Details on bill passed below are in the Heading “Bills passed”

  • HB 1760 Conservation easements; construction
Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources 2021 hearings
Virginia Senate Live Session Video Stream (Short)

Standing Committee: 1/11 1/18 1/25

Sub-Committee Companion Animals:

Sub-Committee Hemp: 

Sub-Committee Menhaden: 

 

SB 1258 – Solar Projects; erosion and sediment control
Senate LIS, David W. MarsdenJanuary 19, 2021 (Short)

Senator David W. Marsden sponsored a bill that authorizes the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to administer erosion and sediment control programs on behalf of small localities. Voted to report bill with technical amendments and refer to Finance Committee 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1115 – Industrial hemp; increase maximum THC concentration
LegiScan, Mark J. PeakeJanuary 26, 2021 (Short)

Senator Mark J. Peake introduced the original bill that was amended to declare that the Commonwealth will not prosecute or punish any hemp crop of that which the THC concentration is at 1%.
Voted to report bill with amendment from allowing to not punishing 13 – Yeas 0 – Nays 1 – Abs.

SB 1194 – Produce safety; removes the sunset date
LIS, Mark ObenshainJanuary 19, 2021 (Short)

Senator Mark Obenshain sponsored a bill that would prolong Title 3.2 on produce safety (2017) that was set to expire on July 1, 2022.
Voted to report bill with no amendments 14 – Yeahs 0 – Nays 1 – Abs.

Summary

Meets at: Tuesday, 1/2 hour after adjournment, Senate Room A, Pocahontas Building

Members: Chap Petersen (Chair) – Barbara Favola – Emmett Hanger – Ghazala Hashmi – Lynwood Lewis – Dave Marsden – Monty Mason – Jennifer McClellan –  Joe Morrissey  – Mark Obenshain – Todd Pillion – Frank Ruff –Bill Stanley – Richard Stuart – Dave Suetterlein 

(8 Democrats and 7 Republicans)

Subcommittees:

  • Companion Animals
  • Hemp
  • Menhaden

About

From Senate Rules, “A Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, 15 Senators, to consider matters concerning agriculture; air and water pollution and solid waste disposal; conservation of land and water resources; crustaceans and bivalves; all matters of environment, forest, fresh and saltwater fishing, game, mining, parks and recreation, and petroleum products”.

Web

LIS webpages

Subcommittees

Companion Animals

Meets on: Thursday at 9:00 a.m. in Senate Subcommittee Room #1, Pocahontas Building.

Members:  Dave Marsden (Chair), Barbara Favola,  Todd Pillion

 

Hemp

Meets on: Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in Subcommittee Room 3, 5th Fl. Pocahontas Bldg

Members:   Joe Morrissey (Chair),  Frank Ruff,  Dave Suetterlein 

Menhaden

Meets on:  TBD

Members:  

Lynwood Lewis (Chair),  Monty MasonJennifer McClellan,  Richard Stuart

Bills

Bills in committee   

(Subcommittee) SB 1467 – Menhaden bill (January 28, 2021)

  • Senator Bill DeSteph introduced a bill for further restrictions on processing of Menhaden fish lying west or within 3 miles of Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
  • Voted to to bypass the bill indefinitely. 3 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

Bills reported out 

SB 1135 – Dangerous dogs, restructures procedures for adjudication, penalty (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator David W. Marsden introduced a bill to reorganize code section arounds dangerous dogs to provide better sequencing and clarity for animal control officers, dog owners, courts, and victims.
  • Voted to report bill with amendment for technicalities 12 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1379 – Humane Cosmetics Act; civil penalties (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator David W. Marsden sponsored a bill that prohibits the sales of cosmetics tested on animals by any manufacturers in the Commonwealth.
  • Voted to report bill with amendment to change enforcement body from Commonwealth’s attorneys to Commonwealth attorney general 10 – Yeas 4 – Nays.

SB 1390 – Cats; trap, neuter, and return programs; civil penalty (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator Lynwood W. Lewis sponsored a bill that authorizes localities to adopt the policy of public or private animal shelters, releasing agencies, or hospitals and clinics to trap, neuter, and release to original place of entrapment for cats in the surrounding areas.
  • Voted to report bill with technical amendment 11 – Yeas 3 – Nays.

SB 1412 – Pet shops, dealers, and dog breeders; employees convicted of animal abuse or cruelty, civil penalty (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator William M. Stanley sponsored a bill that prohibits someone previously convicted of animal abuse or cruelty from working in a pet shop, as a dealer, or as a commercial dog breeder.
  • Voted to report bill with amendment from requiring a signed signature stating no previous convictions to outright prohibiting work in pet shops, as dealers, or as commercial dog breeders 11 – Yeas 3 – Nays.

SB 1417 – Animal testing facilities; adoption of dogs and cats, civil penalty (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator William M. Stanley sponsored a bill that requires any animal testing facility that no longer has a need for a cat or dog in their possession, which does not pose a health or safety risk to the public, be offered up for adoption to a releasing agency or through a private placement up to 3 weeks prior to euthanasia.
  • Voted to report bill with amendment clarifying amount of time prior to euthanasia 14 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1115 – Industrial hemp; increase maximum THC concentration (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator Mark J. Peake introduced the original bill that was amended to declare that the Commonwealth will not prosecute or punish any hemp crop of that which the THC concentration is at 1%.
  • Voted to report bill with amendment from allowing to not punishing 13 – Yeas 0 – Nays 1 – Abs.

SB 1453 – Mines and Mining and Virginia Energy Plan; revision of Titles 45.1 and 67 (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator John Edwards sponsored a bill to completely revise Title 45.1 and 67 of the Virginia Energy Policy and merge them to create Title 45.2.
  • Voted to report bill with no amendments 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1143 – Wetlands; extension of certain permits through 2021 (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator John A. Cosgrove, Sr. sponsored a bill that would extend existing wetlands permits that have been issued between March 1st, 2020 and July 1st, 2021 until January 1st, 2022.
  • Voted to report bill with no amendments 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1396 – Equity and Water Treatment Act (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator Ghazala F. Hasmi sponsored a bill that establishes that the Commonwealth’s policy is to have equitable access to wastewater treatment to protect public health and the environment. It establishes an interagency working group and directs the Department of Environmental Policy to partner with the Department of Health to quantify the funding needs for the public.
  • Voted to report bill and refer it to Finance Committee 12 – Yeas 3 – Nays.

SB 1210 – Environmental permit fees; Va. Waste Management Budget to adopt regulations to collect (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator J. Chapman Petersen sponsored a section 1 bill to put together a work group to find a middle ground which would make the regulatory waste management, wastewater, and landfills programs self-funding.
  • Voted to report bill and refer it to Finance Committee 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1282 – Greenhouse gas emissions inventory; regulations (January 26, 2021)

  • Senator Joe Morrissey sponsored a bill that which gives DEQ and the Air Quality Board the authority to collect baseline data for Virginia air emissions.
  • Voted to report bill and refer it to Finance Committee 9 – Yeas 6 – Nays.

SB 1161 – Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board; clarifies membership (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator Emmett W. Hangar sponsored a bill that would ensure there is a regional dispersion of appointments across the Commonwealth with the Governor. It also further clarifies the membership requirements for the Conservation Board.
  • Voted to report bill with technical amendments 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1188 – Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program and Fund (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator Ghazala F. Hashmi sponsored a bill that would establish the Agriculture Food Assistance Program to both assist Virginia farmers and address the growing crisis of food insecurity within the Commonwealth.
  • Voted to report bill and refer to Finance Committee 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1193 – Dairy Producer Margin Coverage Premium Assistance Program; established (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator Mark Obenshain sponsored a bill to which offers incentives for dairy farmers to participate in the federal dairy margin program and to adopt nutrient management plans in exchange for conservation commitments from the dairy farmers.
  • Voted to report bill and refer to Finance Committee 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1194 – Produce safety; removes the sunset date (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator Mark Obenshain sponsored a bill that would prolong Title 3.2 on produce safety (2017) that was set to expire on July 1, 2022.
  • Voted to report bill with no amendments 14 – Yeahs 0 – Nays 1 – Abs.

SB 1258 – Solar Projects; erosion and sediment control (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator David W. Marsden sponsored a bill that authorizes the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to administer erosion and sediment control programs on behalf of small localities.
  • Voted to report bill with technical amendments and refer to Finance Committee 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1280 – Dams; negotiated settlement agreements (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator John J. Bell sponsored a bill that authorizes the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board to enter into negotiated settlement agreements to correct safety and structural issues on dams regulated by the board.
  • Voted to report bill with no amendments 15 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1274 – Government planning; wildlife corridors (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator David W. Marsden sponsored a bill that will direct various Commonwealth agencies to connect areas for wildlife corridors in order to prevent wildlife caused traffic accidents and property damage.
  • Voted to report bill with technical amendments 11 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

SB 1290 – ConserveVirginia program; established (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator T. Montgomery “Monty” Mason sponsored a bill that of which uses data points to map lands throughout the Commonwealth in order to set up conservation points.
  • Voted to pass with technical amendments 14 – Yeas 1 – Nays.

SB 1291 – Virginia Water Protection Permit (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator T. Montgomery “Monty” Mason sponsored a bill that will establish a water auditing and leak detection layer plan in the Commonwealth.
  • Voted to report bill with technical amendments 8 – Yeas 7 – Nays.

SB 1402 – Trout fishing in stocked water (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator Todd Pillion sponsored a bill that which requires a person to have a season state or county fishing license or a trip fishing license along with a valid special permit in order to partake in trout fishing in stocked water.
  • Voted to report and refer to Finance Committee 12 – Yeas 1 – Nays.

SB 1199 – Conservation easements; construction (January 19, 2021)

  • Senator Chap Petersen sponsored a bill which specifies and reorganizes a previous conservation easement bill to clarify purpose.
  • Voted to report bill with technical amendments 10 – Yeas 0 – Nays.

 

 

 

 

Bills passed

  • HB 1760 Conservation easements; construction. Provides that an easement held pursuant to the Virginia Conservation Easement Act or the Open-Space Land Act shall be construed in favor of achieving the conservation purposes for which it was created. This bill is identical to SB 1199.

Commissions & Boards

Chesapeake Bay Commission

Source: Website

To be a catalyst for the coordination and leadership of State legislative and policy action to restore the Bay watershed. As a formal signatory to every Bay agreement, the Commission serves as the legislative voice in the multi-jurisdictional Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership and as a liaison to the U.S. Congress on policy and budgetary matters related to the restoration of the Bay and its watershed.

Coal and Energy Commission

Source: Webpage

The Coal and Energy Commission exists to study all aspects of coal as an energy resource and endeavor to stimulate, encourage, promote, and assist in the development of renewable and alternative energy resources other than petroleum.

State Water Commission

Source: Webpage

The State Water Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly to:

  • Study all aspects of water supply and allocation problems in the Commonwealth, whether these problems are of a quantitative or qualitative nature; and
  • Coordinate the legislative recommendations of all other state entities having responsibilities with respect to water supply and allocation issues.

Appalachian Region Interstate Compact Commission

Source: Webpage

To study, develop, and promote a plan for the design, construction, financing, and operation of interstate facilities of strategic interest to the signatory states; 2. To coordinate efforts to establish a common legal framework in all the signatory states to authorize and facilitate design, construction, financing, and operation of such facilities either as publicly operated facilities or through other structures authorized by law; 3. To advocate for federal and other public and private funding to support the establishment of interstate facilities of interest to all signatory states; 4. To make available to such interstate facilities funding and resources that are or may be appropriated and allocated for that purpose; and 5. To do all things necessary or convenient to facilitate and coordinate the economic and workforce development plans and programs of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the other signatory states, to the extent such plans and programs are not inconsistent with federal law and the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia or other signatory states.

Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee

Source: Webpage

To advise the General Assembly on the expenditure of moneys received in the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund

Clean Energy Advisory Board

Source: Website

The Clean Energy Advisory Board (the Board) is established as an advisory board in the executive branch of state government. The purpose of the Board is to establish a pilot program for disbursing loans or rebates for the installation of solar energy infrastructure in low-income and moderate-income households through the “Low-to-Moderate Income Solar Loan and Rebate Fund” (the Fund).

Board of Trustees Land Conservation Foundation

Source: Website

Plastic Waste Prevention Advisory Council

Source: Webpage

Advise the Governor on policy and funding priorities to eliminate plastic waste impacting native species and polluting the Commonwealth’s environment and to contribute to achieving plastics packaging circular economy industry standards.

Potomac River Basin Commission

Source: Website

Abatement of existing pollution and the control of future pollution of interstate streams located within the Potomac Valley Conservancy District.

Rappahannock River Basin Commission

Source: Website

“(T)o provide guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rappahannock River Basin. The Commission shall be a forum in which local governments and citizens can discuss issues affecting the Basin’s water quality and quantity and other natural resources. Through promoting communication, coordination and education, and suggesting appropriate solutions to identified problems, the Commission shall promote activities by local, state and federal governments, and by individuals, that foster resource stewardship for the environmental and economic health of the Basin.”

Virginia Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee

Source: Webpage

Assist the Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission in fulfilling their duties and carrying out the objectives of the Commission.

Virginia Delegation of the Roanoke River Bi-State Commission

Source: Webpage

Provide guidance, conduct joint meetings and make recommendations regarding the use, stewardship and enhancement of the Roanoke River Basin’s water and other natural resources.

Southern States Energy Board

Source: Website

Provide instruments and framework for the proper employment and conservation of energy and energy related facilities, materials, and products, within the context of a responsible regard for the environment in a cooperative effort to improve the economy of the South.

State Water Commission

Source: Webpage

The State Water Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly to:

  • Study all aspects of water supply and allocation problems in the Commonwealth, whether these problems are of a quantitative or qualitative nature; and
  • Coordinate the legislative recommendations of all other state entities having responsibilities with respect to water supply and allocation issues.

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