On March 24, 2021

State announces green schools initiative to fund stormwater mitigation at schools

Stormwater treatment practice installed near Giorgetti Park in the City of Rutland is utilizing “green stormwater infrastructure” techniques. The project was funded through a DEC Clean Water Initiative Program grant, awarded to the Rutland County Natural Resources Conservation District.

Over $1.9 million will soon be available from the Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC)’s Green Schools Initiative to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution entering Lake Champlain via public school grounds. The Green Schools Initiative offers funding and technical assistance to help public schools and state colleges meet the three-acre general permit stormwater regulation.

“In partnership with Senator Leahy’s Office and the Lake Champlain Basin Program, the state has secured funds to support stormwater design and permitting for all three-acre schools in the Lake Champlain basin that wish to participate,” said Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore.

The new three-acre general permit requires sites with three or more acres of paved or developed surfaces, including roofs and parking lots, to treat polluted stormwater before it flows into Lake Champlain. This permit is an essential part of Lake Champlain’s restoration plan.

DEC is currently accepting applications from contractors to oversee a large block grant program that will complete stormwater design and permitting work on behalf of pubic schools and colleges in the Lake Champlain basin. Schools will receive technical and financial assistance for stormwater design and get help applying for the permit. Then, the block grant recipient will select subrecipients, such as local partners and environmental engineering consulting firms, to complete initial steps to reduce runoff.

Senator Leahy, who secured this EPA funding, said:  “This is a win for students, our schools, and for Lake Champlain.”

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