The Prince William Board of County Supervisors has taken another step in its plans to address the global climate crisis at the local level, creating a sustainability commission that will have the authority to make recommendations to the board for a Community Energy/Sustainability Master Plan.
The board’s 2021–2024 Strategic Plan included two new areas: environmental conservation and sustainable growth. The master plan will provide guidance in meeting the stated goals of these strategic areas to “promote and expand the preservation and protection of natural resources and processes, and promote environmental justice,” and “establish Prince William County as a leader in promoting sustainable growth that ensures the social, economic, and environmental health of the County.”
The commission will be made up of eight members. Each of the seven Prince William County Supervisors will appoint one member to represent their magisterial district. The Prince William County Chair will appoint one at-large member. Appointees must have academic and/or work experience in sustainability-related fields. Within 12 months of being established, the commission will submit a report to the board on its recommendations regarding the Community Energy/Sustainability Master Plan.
Commission members will elect a chair and vice chair, along with any other officers they deem appropriate and establish their own rules and procedures. The members of the commission will serve at the pleasure of the board without compensation, with terms that are coterminous, meaning the terms coincide with board members’ terms. The county executive will provide staff support to the commission to include relevant directors or their designees as necessary.
As a public body, the commission will be subject to open meeting requirements as set forth by the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. Commission records will be subject to FOIA requests.
The board included funding for such a commission in its fiscal year 2022 budget.