During the Virginia General Assembly 2020 Session, the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) was amended to include “coastal resilience and adaptation to sea-level rise and climate change” as one of the purposes of the Act. This change triggered new CBPA regulations, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has since issued draft regulations in late 2020. A public comment period for these draft regulations was open from February 1, 2021 – May 3, 2021. Additional information, including the draft regulations, public comments submitted, etc. are available on the Virginia Town Hall site here.
VFMA submitted a public comment letter to DEQ on May 3, 2021.
VFMA is concerned that the draft regulations could negatively impact Virginia communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) Program, which provides flood insurance discounts to community residents. Additionally, because a significant percentage of RPA buffers overlap with Special Flood Hazard Areas, local floodplain ordinance requirements need to be considered to avoid NFIP compliance issues.