Updates on Water Quality Improvement Projects

The Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC) received grant funding from the Water Quality Division of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) via a 604b grant administered by the Rutland Regional Planning Commission. The funding was used to review sector-based assessments (e.g. Stormwater Master Plans) to: 1) ensure projects identified in the assessment process are both included and accurately represented (e.g. up to date information regarding project phase) in the Department of Environmental Conservation Watershed Projects Database; and 2) identify potential projects that align with the goals, strategies and actions of the town plans of CVRPC member municipalities. This project was conducted to support the water quality restoration efforts of a variety of stakeholders, including the municipalities served by the CVRPC, watershed groups, the Agency of Natural Resources, the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District, the Winooski Clean Water Service Provider and the Winooski Basin Water Quality Council.

In coordination with the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Winooski River Basin Planner, Keith Fritschie, CVRPC staff reviewed four sector-based assessments and identified 100 water quality improvement projects that have not been entered into the Watershed Projects Database. In addition, in collaboration with Friends of the Winooski River, the details of 14 projects were updated in the database to reflect their current status. A review of town plans for thirteen of CVRPC’s member municipalities identified water quality restoration projects that may prove more feasible to implement due to municipal support was also conducted. Staff developed a spreadsheet to align municipal priorities with potential projects. This spreadsheet will be shared with watershed partners and municipal boards and commissions to build awareness of opportunities for water quality restoration efforts. Assessments of the remaining towns will be completed in the next fiscal year. With sufficient financial support, this review may be expanded to include Local Hazard Mitigation Plans and Emergency Management Plans to expand the list of potential projects.

Information gleaned during this effort will help support tactical basin planning and implementation, and serve as a useful resource for identifying projects for advancement through the Winooski River Basin Clean Water Service Provider Formula Grant and / or Water Quality Enhancement Grants. For more information regarding this effort or water quality restoration efforts in the Winooski River Basin, please contact Brian Voigt, Program Manager (voigt@cvregion.com).