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Hearings on Changes to Vermont Water Quality Standards

posted Jun 20, 2014, 1:28 PM by Lyn Munno   [ updated Oct 22, 2014, 11:21 AM ]
The Watershed Management Division of Vermont's Department of Environmental Conservation is announcing three public hearings to take public comment on the proposed amendments to the Vermont Water Quality Standards. The meetings will be held:
  • July 29th, 2014, 10:00 am. Winooski Room, National Life Building, 1 National Life Drive, Main 2, Montpelier, VT. This meeting will be offered by webinar/teleconference as well.
  • August 5th, 2014, 5:30 pm. Fox Room, Rutland Free Library. 10 Court St., Rutland, VT.
  • August 8th, 2014, 1:00 pm. Eastside Restaurant, 47 Landing St., Newport, VT. This meeting will be held coincident with the Memphremagog Watershed Association's annual watershed workshop. All members of the public are welcome to the 1:00 pm public hearing.
These amendments are being proposed as part of the triennial review of the Vermont Water Quality Standards, as required by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposed amendments to the Rule consist of four components:
  • Housekeeping changes associated with the transfer of rulemaking authority from the Natural Resources Board (NRB) to the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) (e.g. replacing references to the NRB with references to ANR), pursuant to Act 138 (2012), Sections 20-28;
  • Revisions to the E. coli criteria for the protection of waters for swimming for consistency with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) guidance under Section 304(a) of the CWA;
  • Numerous technical revisions to toxic substances criteria contained within "Appendix C" of the current Rule, including the addition of criteria for chloride (de-icing salt) for consistency with EPA's guidance under Section 304(a) of the CWA;
  • The addition of new phosphorus criteria framework for lakes and ponds and wadeable streams to comply with EPA's National Strategy for the Development of Regional Nutrient Criteria promulgated under Section 304(a) of the CWA.
The full text of the Water Quality Standards, with proposed markup, can be found here. Technical support documentation for the bacteria, Appendix C, and nutrient criteria amendments are also provided on that page.
Key Dates:
  • The public notice of availability will be posted online on June 25, 2014, and comments will be accepted beginning on that date. 
  • Information on webinar access for the July 29, 2014 meeting will be provided approximately one week prior to the event.
  • The deadline for written public comment is August 22, 2014.
WSMD looks forward to hearing from the public and stakeholders regarding the proposed amendments. Comments may be submitted electronically via email to Neil Kamman (use subject heading  “Public Comment on Water Quality Standards”) or on paper to Neil C. Kamman, Program Manager, National Life Dr., Main 2, Montpelier, VT 05620-3522.