At its January 2017 meeting, the HRPDC approved three additions to its 2017 legislative agenda. While developing the Region’s agenda for the 2017 General Assembly session, Commission members directed staff to consult with the HRPDC Coastal Resiliency Committee and identify coastal resiliency initiatives that could be included.
At the Coastal Resiliency Committee’s December 9, 2016 meeting, HRPDC staff provided the committee recommendations related to coastal resiliency issues such as a flooding and sea level rise for consideration. The Committee suggested that the Commission incorporate three (3) priorities into the regional legislative agenda:
- Support the appropriation of funds for the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund - The Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund was created during the 2016 session, but no funding was appropriated for it. The VSRF is a state fund that local governments can use to establish low-interest loan programs for residents and businesses to mitigate flooding.
- Support the appropriation of funds to match federal funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 3x3x3 studies -3x3x3 studies are an important and necessary step in receiving federal funding through the Corps for flood mitigation and other resiliency projects. Funding for these projects is capped at $3 million, half of which is federal and half of which is provided by non-federal partners. Funding would be requested from the state to cover at least part of the required $1.5 million in non-federal matching funds for each study.
- Support the creation of a standalone Virginia Chief Resiliency Officer- Currently, the state’s Chief Resiliency Officer is Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran. Creating a standalone position would allow this appointed individual to focus exclusively on coordinating local, state, and federal efforts on coastal resiliency.
The HRPDC Commission unanimously approved the inclusion of these three additional legislative priorities into the Region’s 2017 Legislative Agenda and the information was forwarded to Hampton Roads’ General Assembly members for consideration.