On August 25, 2020

Environmental advocates call for implementation of critical clean water rule

The Conservation Law Foundation, the Connecticut River Conservancy, the Lake Champlain Committee, Vermont Conservation Voters, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council called on the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) today to issue the Three-Acre General Permit, ending its two-year delay on a key piece of the state’s Clean Water Act and Lake Champlain cleanup plan. An essential component of Vermont’s clean water future, the permit will help spur the economy by catalyzing investment and jobs in improved infrastructure.

“In its letter to ANR, the EPA called implementation of the Three-Acre General Permit a critical milestone in achieving the Lake’s water quality goals,” said Lori Fisher, Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Committee, “Without the needed stormwater reduction from these parcels, Vermont will fall short in its commitment to clean water, exacerbating the economic and ecological impacts of degraded water.”

Runoff from larger parcels of developed land is one of the remaining unaddressed pollution sources state-wide.  According to the state’s own cleanup plan, developed lands – including impervious surfaces like parking lots, commercial and industrial sites, and other parts of the built environment – make up just 3% of the land area of the Lake Champlain Basin, but contribute 18% of the total Lake Champlain phosphorus load. Vermont must achieve a 20.9% phosphorus reduction from developed lands, and the Three-Acre General Permit is necessary to achieve this.

“Vermont must move forward with the commitments that the State has made to improve water quality,” says Jon Groveman, policy and water program director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council. “The Three-Acre General Permit is a significant part of these commitments and should not be delayed.”

 

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