ACT NO. 43
Conservation and development; water pollution control;
stormwater; basin planning
This act amends state stormwater requirements, requirements for completing basin plans, and requirements for implementation of the total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan for Lake Champlain. The act extends until 2010 the deadline by which the agency of natural resources (ANR) is required to issue permits implementing TMDLs for the 17 stormwater-impaired waters of the state. Similarly, the act extends until 2010 the sunset of the interim stormwater permit program and the notice of deferral of permit program. The notice of deferral of permit program is also amended to clarify that the ability to clear title by recording a notice of deferral permit is available to homeowners within a stormwater-impaired watershed until ANR issues a permit implementing a TMDL for that watershed.
In addition, the act requires ANR to report to the general assembly in January of 2008 regarding the status of the TMDLs for the 17 stormwater-impaired waters and regarding the TMDL addressing phosphorus in Lake Champlain. ANR is also required to report to the general assembly in January of 2008 regarding current phosphorus treatment practices at wastewater treatment facilities within the Lake Champlain basin and whether it is feasible for such facilities to further reduce phosphorus discharges and, if so, at what cost. The act requires ANR to reopen the phosphorus TMDL for Lake Champlain in July of 2008 in order to adopt a new hydrologic base year, reallocate point source and non-point source load reduction, and cap the amount of phosphorus discharges in the aggregate by all wastewater treatment facilities in the Lake Champlain basin. Similarly, the act requires ANR to reopen the implementation plan for the Lake Champlain TMDL in order to identify critical source areas of pollution. The act also requires the secretary of administration to hire an independent environmental consultant to complete a program and financial audit of the Clean and Clear Action Plan.
The act requires ANR to propose by January 15, 2008, draft rules for an implementation process for the antidegradation policy in the Vermont water quality standards. A final proposal of the rules shall be submitted to the secretary of state by July 1, 2008. In addition, ANR shall report to the general assembly in 2008 with a written proposal for utilizing the antidegradation implementation process to conduct basin planning. Prior to July 1, 2008, ANR would be authorized to adopt two basin plans without the water management types required by the Vermont water quality standards. The two basin plans are for the basin of the West, Williams, and Saxton Rivers and the basin of the Stevens, Wells, Waits, and Ompompanoosuc rivers.
Effective Date: Upon passage, except for the requirement to reopen the phosphorus TMDL for Lake Champlain, which goes into effect July 1, 2008.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street