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NO. 109. AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC WATER SUPPLIES.

(H.696)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 1676 is amended to read:

§ 1676. TEMPORARY PERMITS

(a) The secretary may issue a temporary operation permit for public water system if such issuance will not unreasonably contribute to a public health risk, and the system is unable to comply with:

(1) any physical facility requirement established in the Vermont standards and requirements for water system design and construction;

(2) any operational requirement established by rules adopted under this chapter; or

(3) operator certification requirements.

(b) A temporary permit shall:

(1) contain a schedule which requires compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter by a specified date;

(2) require the person who owns or operates the system to inform all persons using the system of the nature and extent of the noncompliance with this chapter or rules of this chapter;

(3) be valid for not more than three years. A temporary permit may be renewed.

(c) A temporary permit may contain any conditions, requirements, schedules, restrictions or monitoring and testing programs that the secretary deems necessary to prevent a public health risk.

*[(d) A temporary permit shall not be issued if the system fails to meet any maximum contaminant level established in rules adopted under this chapter.]*

Sec. 2. 24 V.S.A. § 4753 is amended to read:

§ 4753. REVOLVING LOAN FUNDS; AUTHORITY TO SPEND; REPORT

(a) There is hereby established a series of special funds to be known as:

* * *

(7) The Vermont drinking water emergency use fund which shall be within the control of the secretary. Disbursements from the fund may be made by the secretary for costs required to undertake the following emergency actions that the secretary considers necessary to protect public health:

(A) collecting and analyzing samples of drinking water;

(B) hiring contractors to perform or cause to be performed infrastructure repairs of a public water system;

(C) hiring certified operators to perform operational activities at a public water system; and

(D) providing or causing to be provided bottled or bulk water for a public water system due to problems with quality or quantity, or both.

* * *

(e) The secretary may bring an action under this subsection or other available state and federal laws against the owner or permittee of the public water system to seek reimbursement to the Vermont drinking water emergency use fund for all disbursements from the fund made pursuant to subdivision (a)(7) of this section. To the extent compatible with the urgency of the situation, the secretary shall provide an opportunity for the responsible water system owner or permittee to undertake the necessary actions under the direction of the secretary prior to making disbursements.

Sec. 3. 24 V.S.A. § 4778 is amended to read:

§ 4778. FEDERAL CAPITALIZATION GRANT DISTRIBUTION

The secretary may use any available and lawful funds to match federal funds otherwise available to capitalize the fund created by section 4753(a)(3) of this title. Up to 20 percent of the funds which have been identified in the annual state intended use plan (IUP) and allocated for water supply projects may be used for loans to privately-owned public water systems. Any balance, excepting set-asides authorized by federal law, shall be directed to be used for loans to improve municipal water systems. Should there occur any surplus of funds for municipal water system projects in any given year, those funds may be used to fund additional privately owned public water systems.

Sec. 4. REPORT ON DISINFECTION OF WATER SYSTEMS

(a) In recognizing the importance of the appropriate use of chemicals in our drinking water as well as their control in the effluents we discharge into our rivers and streams, the legislature urges the use of new and existing technology in water purification prior to human consumption and, in the case of wastewater, decontamination, prior to release into the environment. Bearing this in mind, the legislature directs that by no later than January 15, 2001, the secretary of natural resources shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy and to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, regarding the use of alternative forms of water supply disinfection, including ultraviolet disinfection. The report shall focus on technologies and methods suitable for application in public water systems and their individual water users, assess the potential for widespread use of alternative forms of disinfection, and include recommendations if appropriate to enable citizens to use a wider range of technologies and methods of water supply disinfection.

(b) The report shall also address the use of alternative forms of disinfection for treating wastewater, including ultraviolet disinfection, assess the potential for use of alternatives, and include recommendations if appropriate to enable citizens to use a wider range of technologies and methods of disinfection.

Approved: May 10, 2000