ACT NO. 144
Groundwater protection; industrial and commercial
This act establishes an interim groundwater withdrawal permit program in the agency of natural resources. Under the interim groundwater withdrawal program, a person must obtain an interim groundwater withdrawal permit from the agency of natural resources (ANR) in order to withdraw more than 50,000 gallons of groundwater a day from a well drilled after July 1, 2006 for commercial or industrial purposes. In order to receive an interim groundwater withdrawal permit, the secretary of natural resource shall determine that the applicant meets the applicable requirements for a public water source permit and the applicant shall submit to the Vermont state geologist and the department of environmental conservation a geologic cross section and groundwater contour map of an area, determined by reference to the ANR water supply rule, surrounding the proposed source of the groundwater withdrawal. Groundwater withdrawal by a public water system for fire safety, agriculture, agricultural or dairy processing, dewatering during building construction, geothermal energy production, or public sanitation shall be exempt from the interim groundwater withdrawal permit requirement. An interim groundwater withdrawal permit shall be valid for a period of time specified in the permit but not more than five years. The act authorizes the secretary of natural resources to adopt rules to implement the interim groundwater withdrawal permit program and clarifies the authority of ANR to bring enforcement actions for violations of groundwater withdrawal requirements. The act repeals the interim groundwater withdrawal permit program on July 1, 2011. The act also requires a public water system applying for a permit for the bottling of more than 50,000 gallons of drinking water a day from a single source for public distribution to submit to the Vermont state geologist and the department of environmental conservation a geologic cross section and groundwater contour map of an area, determined by reference to the ANR water supply rule, surrounding the proposed source of the groundwater withdrawal.
The act establishes a committee to examine the potential regulatory programs to protect the groundwater resources of the state. The committee shall issue a final report on its findings and that report shall include proposed legislation for the regulation of groundwater withdrawal in the state. In addition, the act requires ANR to explore all available alternatives for the immediate initiation of groundwater mapping in the state. ANR is also required to report to the general assembly regarding the status of the agency's efforts to collect and analyze information regarding the groundwater resources of the state.
Effective Date: July 1, 2006
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street