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Introduced by Representative Deen of Westminster

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Conservation; water pollution; stormwater

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require that discharges of stormwater to waters listed as impaired due to sediment or nutrients meet the requirements of the interim stormwater permitting program.  


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

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1264 is amended to read:


(a)  The general assembly finds that the management of stormwater runoff is necessary to reduce stream channel instability, pollution, siltation, sedimentation, and local flooding, all of which have adverse impacts on the water and land resources of the state.  The general assembly intends, by enactment of this section, to reduce the adverse effects of stormwater runoff.  The general assembly determines that this intent may best be attained by a process that:  assures broad participation; focuses upon the prevention of pollution; relies on structural treatment only when necessary; establishes and maintains accountability; tailors strategies to the region and the locale; assures an adequate funding source; builds broadbased programs; provides for the evaluation and appropriate evolution of programs; is consistent with the federal Clean Water Act and the state water quality standards; and accords appropriate recognition to the importance of community benefits that accompany an effective stormwater runoff management program.  In furtherance of these purposes, the secretary shall implement two stormwater permitting programs.  The first program is based on the requirements of the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program in accordance with section 1258 of this title.  The second program is a state permit program based on the requirements of this section for the discharge of “regulated stormwater runoff” as that term is defined in subdivision (11) of this subsection.  As used in this section:

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(19)  “Sediment‑ or nutrient‑impaired water” means a state water that the secretary determines is significantly impaired by sediment or nutrients.

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(f)(1)  In a stormwater‑impaired water or a sediment‑ or nutrient‑impaired water, the secretary may issue:

(A)  An individual permit for which no TMDL, water quality remediation plan, or watershed improvement permit has been established or issued, provided that the permitted discharge meets the discharge standard set by rule.  Until the secretary adopts rules that address stormwater discharges to sediment‑ or nutrient‑impaired waters, the provisions set forth in section 1264a of this title and the rules regarding discharge of stormwater to impaired waters shall apply to proposed stormwater discharges to sediment‑ or nutrient‑impaired waters;

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Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1264a is amended to read:


(a)  The definitions found in subsection 1264(a) of this title shall apply to this section.

(b)  Prior to adopting a rule pursuant to subsection 1264(d) of this title, the secretary may issue a permit in a stormwater-impaired water or a sediment‑ or nutrient‑impaired water for:

(1)  A discharge of regulated stormwater runoff from an impervious surface equal to or greater than one acre if:

(A)  A new discharge or the expanded portion of an existing discharge meets the requirements of the 2002 stormwater management manual and does not increase the sediment load in the receiving stormwater‑impaired water.  An applicant for a permit to discharge stormwater to a stormwater-impaired or sediment‑ or nutrient‑impaired water may not claim or attempt to take credit for any reduction in the discharge of sediment or nutrients as a result of converting agricultural lands to impervious surfaces or eliminating agricultural uses on the land; or

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(d)(1)  A stormwater impact fee due under subsection (c) of this section shall be $30,000.00 per acre of impervious surface.  An individual discharger can reduce the stormwater impact fee through compliance with the engineering feasibility analysis under the agency procedure provided for in subsection (g) of this section.  After an individual discharger of regulated stormwater completes the relevant impact fee and offset charge analysis under the agency procedure provided for in subsection (g) of this section, the discharger shall submit to the secretary of natural resources a proposed stormwater impact fee, a proposed offset charge, and documentation of the calculation of the fee and the offset charge.  The secretary shall approve or disapprove of the proposed stormwater impact fee and offset charge.

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(3)  An offset fee for a discharge that converts agricultural land to impervious surface shall be used to reduce sediment or nutrient runoff from agricultural uses to stormwater‑impaired or sediment‑ or nutrient‑impaired waters.

(3)(4)  No construction or discharge shall be initiated under a discharge permit until the offset charge for a proposed discharge has been assigned to an offset project under subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(4)(5)  If a watershed lacks an offset with sufficient capacity to accommodate a proposed offset charge, the secretary shall assign an offset charge when offset capacity becomes available and in the order of the secretary’s determination that the discharge permit application is technically complete.

(e)(1)  The secretary of natural resources may issue a permit for an offset project under this section.  Application shall be made on a form prescribed by the secretary of natural resources.  An applicant shall pay an application fee in accordance with section 2822 of Title 3.  The secretary may issue such permits for the following activities or projects:

(A)  Stormwater treatment of any discharge of regulated stormwater runoff initiated prior to 1978;

(B)  Stormwater treatment of any discharge of regulated stormwater runoff initiated after 1978 when the secretary did not previously issue or require a stormwater discharge permit or temporary pollution permit for the discharge;

(C)  Conversion of land use, other than agricultural land use, to reduce sediment load or hydrologic impact, especially in riparian areas;

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Sec. 10 of  No. 140 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is amended to read:

Sec. 10.  SUNSET

(a)  Sec. 2 of this act (interim permitting authority for regulated stormwater runoff), except for subsection 1264a(e) of Title 10, shall be repealed on September 30, 2007 2009.

(b)  Sec. 4 of this act (local communities implementation fund) shall be repealed on September 30, 2007.

(c)  Sec. 6 of this act (stormwater discharge permits during transition period) shall be repealed on September 30, 2007.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont