RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland) and Del. Robert Bloxom (R-Norfolk) have introduced a pair of bills which would gut the regulatory power of state environmental boards and divide the power to appoint members of those boards — a power that currently belongs solely to the governor.

SB 657 and HB 1261 would delegate the power to appoint members of the State Air Pollution Control Board, Virginia Waste Management Board and State Water Control Board to the governor, the Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

Right now, members of all three of those boards are appointed by the governor.

The bill would also revoke the power of these boards to approve or deny applications for permits, transferring that power to the Department of Environmental Quality.

Denial of permits by the boards has hindered construction efforts in Virginia in the past. Last December, the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board denied a key permit for the Lambert Compressor Station, a vital piece of infrastructure on the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The bills have been referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources.