Vermont Water Quality Public Hearings: July 29, August 5, and August 8

The Watershed Management Division (WSMD) 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 29, 2014, 10 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 5, 2014, 5:30 PM: Fox Room, Rutland Free Library, 10 Court Street, Rutland, VT.
  • August 8, 2014, 1 PM: Eastside Restaurant, 47 Landing Street, 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 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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. 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.

Click here to view the full text of the Water Quality Standards, with proposed markup. 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 here on June 25, 2014 and comment 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 to Neil Kamman at neil.kamman@state.vt.us or in writing at 1 National Life Drive, Main 2, Montpelier, VT 05620. Commentors using email are requested to use the subject heading “Public Comment on Water Quality Standards” in their correspondence.

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