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HOUSE PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT 2007-2008

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S.92

An act relating to groundwater mapping

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, by striking the last sentence of 10 V.S.A. § 1416(a) in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof:

The office of the state geologist shall also identify areas of interest that require additional mapping, including location of water wells and mapping of surficial geology and bedrock.  The office of the state geologist may also conduct geophysical studies as funds allow.

Second:  By adding Secs. 3 and 4 to read as follows:

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. chapter 48, subchapter 6 is added to read:

Subchapter 6.  Water Withdrawal Reporting

§ 1417.  WATER WITHDRAWAL REPORTING

(a)  As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Groundwater” means water below the land surface.

(2)  "Withdrawal" means the removal of groundwater from one source by any method or instrument.  All groundwater withdrawals from a particular source that are made or controlled by a single person are considered to be a single withdrawal of water.

(b)  Annually, on or before August 1, a person withdrawing more than 35,000 gallons of groundwater on any day shall file a groundwater withdrawal report with the agency of natural resources for the previous year ending June 30, unless exempt under subsection (c) of this section or rules adopted by the secretary of natural resources under subsection (e) of this section.

(c)  The following are exempt from the reporting requirements of this section:

(1)  A groundwater withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purposes;

(2)  A withdrawal for use in farming, as that term is defined in section 6001 of this title;

(3)  A withdrawal for use in agricultural or dairy processing;

(4)  A withdrawal reported to the agency of natural resources under any program that requires the reporting of substantially similar data; and 

(5)  Ordinary household use.

(d)  A report required under subsection (b) of this section shall include information on water use, the type or method of groundwater withdrawal, and the location of the withdrawal including, where feasible, the distance of each groundwater withdrawal from the nearest surface water source.  The secretary of natural resources may allow water withdrawal volumes to be calculated as estimates and to be reported in ranges established by the secretary.  Water withdrawal reports shall be submitted to the secretary of natural resources in a form prescribed by the secretary.

(e)  On or before April 1, 2008, the secretary of natural resources, after consultation with the secretary of agriculture, food and markets and other interested parties, shall adopt rules implementing the requirements of this section.  The rules may include:

(1)  Additional information to be included in the report required under subsection (d) of this section; and

(2)  Additional uses or activities that are exempt from the requirements of this section.

Sec. 3a.  AGENCY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS
               SURVEY OF GROUNDWATER USE

On or before July 1, 2008, the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall conduct a survey of farms and agricultural and dairy processors in Vermont that withdraw in excess of 35,000 gallons of groundwater on any day during a calendar year.  The survey shall request information on estimated water use, the purpose or general use of the water, the type or method of groundwater withdrawal, and the general location of the withdrawal.  Upon completion of the survey, the agency of agriculture, food and markets shall submit the information collected to the agency of natural resources.

Sec. 4.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT

On or before January 15, 2011, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, the senate committee on natural resources, and the house and senate committees on agriculture with a recommendation as to whether the groundwater withdrawal reporting required by section 1417 of Title 10 should continue, should be amended, or should be repealed.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us