Sustainable Development of Mineral and Energy Resources through Comprehensive Planning
In 1996, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia amended state statutes governing localities’ comprehensive planning to include mineral resources among the key considerations in planning for future growth (Code of Virginia §15.2-2224). Shortly thereafter, the Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME) responded with a proactive program to deliver geologic and mineral resources information to over 130 county, municipal, and regional planning authorities. With the help of new tools for managing and distributing digital spatial data, DMME has created Land-Use Planning web pages, to help meet the update schedules of the planning offices that typically review their comprehensive plan documents for needed changes every five years.
In recent years, state and local governments have been challenged to ensure that the benefits accrued from mining operations are maximized in a sustainable way, while any negative impacts are mitigated. Through comprehensive planning, local governments work with citizens to ensure an appropriate balance between protecting community values and developing important natural resources. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy exists to enhance the development and conservation of energy and mineral resources in a safe and environmentally sound manner in order to support a more productive economy in Virginia.
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