|Action||Amend Vegetation Control Regulations on State Rights of Way|
|Comment Period||Ends 2/2/2022|
The issue at hand wrongly implies that "there is no disadvantage to the Commonwealth". The impact of climate change is not a theoretical danger looming in the future, climate change is impacting Virginia here and now. Trees are able to slow and absorb water during rainfall events, which we have seen increase in frequency and intensity in recent years. Trees along highways and roads play a critical role in absorbing stormwater and polluted runoff flowing from the large swaths of impervious surface that create our highways. Additionally, the trees are able to absorb air pollution created by car exhaust and many studies have proven that mature trees are capable of absorbing and storing more carbon than newly planted, young trees. The benefits of trees to the health, safety, and wellbeing of Virginians far outweighs expanded ability to cut trees from an area simply to improve the sightline to a business. There are, in fact, studies that even support a greater presence of trees near shopping centers increases spending. I urge you to reconsider this proposal.