The Mountain Times

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Rutland Regional Planning Commission to map water quality and culverts for flood resiliency

In the ongoing effort to improve and protect water quality in the region, in March 2013 the Rutland Regional Planning Commission will begin water quality mapping and culvert assessments for two watersheds in western Rutland County. The work will focus on the Poultney and Mettowee River Basin and the Lower Lake Champlain Direct Basin. The project area includes parts of 15 western Rutland County towns.

The Rutland Regional Planning Commission will use its GIS (geographic information system) to map environmental data including: wetlands, hydric soils, flood zones, fluvial erosion hazard zones, drinking water wells, current water quality conditions, and past restoration projects. These projects include drainage improvements to dirt roads (such as ditching), buffer plantings along shorelines, and stormwater retention ponds.

Local towns in the project area will benefit from data developed on road culverts and may use study results in identifying culverts as candidates for replacement. This information can also be used to leverage grant funding to enlarge or replace drainage culverts, and in developing river corridor plans. Study results will be presented during monthly meetings of the region's Road Commissioners.

This water quality and culvert information will also be integrated into town plans and the Rutland Regional Plan. The project is funded by federal Clean Water Act funds administered by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. For more on the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, visit www.rutlandrpc.org.