- Report Published -
|Report of the Commission Studying The Future of Virginia's Environment|
|SJR 373 (Regular Session, 2001)|
|The Commission on the Future of Virginia's Environment was originally created by the 1996 Session of the General Assembly as a two-year joint legislative subcommittee to study "the future of Virginia's environment." The General Assembly requested that the joint subcommittee examine the history of environmental and natural resources programs and budgetary trends for natural resource management in Virginia and to develop a long-term vision and plan for the future management of Virginia's natural resources. The joint subcommittee was continued by the 1998 and 1999 Sessions of the General Assembly and directed to examine a variety of issues, including the establishment of stable funding sources for the state park and open space systems.|
From its inception, the joint subcommittee has been actively involved with a majority of the environmental and natural resources issues coming before the General Assembly. The joint subcommittee developed and supported the concepts that became the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Act, assisted in the development of the Virginia Land Conservation Act, recommended numerous improvements to Virginia's state park system, and played a role in debates on solid waste management and recycling, the importation of solid waste into Virginia, and the establishment of a program to regulate activities occurring in wetlands.
In recognition of the number of environmental and natural resources issues requiring examination and debate, as well as the expanding role of the joint subcommittee as a body of experts on such issues, the 2000 Session of the General Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 76 (Appendix A), formally reauthorizing the joint study committee as "The Commission on the Future of Virginia's Environment." The Commission was directed to continue oversight of its past recommendations and to create opportunities for its members to become educated on environmental issues that might require legislative action. The General Assembly also passed Senate Joint Resolution 133 (Appendix B), directing the Commission to examine strategies to reduce the amount of solid waste being deposited into Virginia landfills, and Senate Joint Resolution 217 (Appendix C), requesting that the Commission study the need to expand best management practices for the nonpoint source pollution program to include urban land uses.