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The Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) and Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) have been designated the Clean Water Service Provider (CWSP) for the South Lake Champlain Basin. Our organizations will be allocating funding from the state for clean water projects and will be allocated non-regulatory (voluntary) pollution reduction targets. In Lake Champlain, the pollutant of concern is phosphorus and, starting July 2022, an estimated $500,000 or more will be available in the South Lake Champlain basin each year to design and implement water quality restoration and other non-regulatory projects (those not required for a permit).
Act 76 (Clean Water Service Delivery Act)
In 2019, the Vermont State Legislature passed Act 76, the Clean Water Service Delivery Act. This Act mandates funding for non-regulatory (voluntary) clean water projects, establishes phosphorus reductions goals for basins, and creates regional organizations called Clean Water Service Providers (CWSP). CWSPs must convene a Basin Water Quality Council (BWQC) in each Tactical Basin Planning watershed, starting with those of Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog. For more information on Act 76, please visit: https://dec.vermont.gov/water-investment/statues-rules-policies/act-76
In June 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new phosphorus pollution limits for Lake Champlain by establishing TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Load) for twelve Vermont segments of Lake Champlain due to elevated concentrations of phosphorus in the lake: https://www.epa.gov/tmdl/lake-champlain-phosphorus-tmdl-commitment-clean-water
The TMDL requires phosphorus loading reductions from baseline loads to meet clean water goals for the basin. Phosphorus loading reduction goals delineated by sector:
Through the CWSP and the BWQC, Act 76 establishes a new system of funding and local decision making. The CWSP is charged with overseeing the identification, implementation, and operation and maintenance of clean water projects. The BWQC will guide decisions on project prioritization and selection by voting on which projects to advance.
Eligible projects include:
Basin Water Quality Council (BWQC)
Each CWSP shall establish a basin water quality council (BWQC) for each assigned basin. BWQC membership shall be comprised of the minimum statutory members identified in 10 V.S.A. § 924(g)(2). Municipalities, watershed groups and other stakeholders will have an opportunity to serve on the BWQC, which is composed of nine members with two seats reserved for municipalities. As BWQC members, they will guide the CWSP in the selection of clean water projects. For South Lake Champlain CWSP, the nine members of the BWQC are:
Two persons representing natural resource conservation districts in that basin, selected by the applicable natural resource conservation districts:
Katy Cumbley, Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District
Rob Terry, Bennington Natural Resources Conservation District board member
Two persons representing regional planning commissions in that basin, selected by the applicable regional planning commission:
Robert Richards, Rutland Regional Planning Commission board member
Mike Winslow, Addison County Regional Planning Commission transportation planner
Two persons representing local watershed protection organizations operating in that basin, selected by applicable watershed protection organizations:
Murray McHugh, The Nature Conservancy, Poultney, VT
Erin Rodgers, Trout Unlimited, Project Coordinator, Brattleboro, VT
One representative from an applicable local or statewide land conservation organization selected by the conservation organization in consultation with the clean water service provider:
Donald Campbell, Vermont Land Trust, Bennington, VT
Two persons representing municipalities within the basin, selected by the clean water service provider in consultation with municipalities in the basin:
Joe Gunter, Fair Haven Town Manager
Paul Donaldson, Poultney Town Manager
If you are interested in serving as an alternate on the South Lake Champlain BWQC, please contact either Hilary Solomon firstname.lastname@example.org or Barbara Noyes Pulling email@example.com. We will be happy to arrange individual meetings or virtual presentations.
Under this program, municipalities, watershed groups, and stakeholders are also eligible to receive grant funding to construct clean water projects. We anticipate that the first grants awards will be made by mid-2022. 10 V.S.A. § 924(g)(2). More BWQC Information.
South Lake Champlain CWSP
Hilary Solomon Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Noyes Pulling Rutland Regional Planning Commission: email@example.com
The map can be viewed here.