Rep. Stanley Helps Pass Public Lands Preservation Act
Rep. Stanley and his colleagues in the House passes the Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA) to protect the natural resources of the Commonwealth. As a cosponsor of the bill, Rep. Stanley submitted written testimony in support of this legislation which will provide additional protections to Article 97 lands which help the Commonwealth reduce carbon emissions and diminish the impacts of climate change. Article 97 lands are major contributors to clean water, clean air, quality of life, all of which supports outdoor recreation for residents, habitats for our diverse species of plants and wildlife, a robust tourism industry, and a strong economy.
The bill will clarify and standardizes the process used to evaluate proposals for the Commonwealth and/or municipalities to take parcels out of conservation protected status in order for them to be used for other purposes, either public or private. Under this legislation, municipalities and state agencies would be required to provide replacement land of comparable acreage, location, and natural resource value (no net loss) and to notify the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs with information that would allow the Secretary to assess the need for the disposition or change in use, the availability of feasible alternatives, and suitability of the replacement land being provided.