Download this document in MS Word format
BILL AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE 2007-2008

AutoFill Template

H.154

AN ACT RELATING TO STORMWATER MANAGEMENT

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

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

(f)(1)  In a stormwater-impaired water, the secretary may issue:

(A)  An individual permit in a stormwater-impaired water 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;

(B)  A watershed improvement permit, provided that the watershed improvement permit provides reasonable assurance of compliance with the Vermont water quality standards in five years;

(C)  A general or individual permit that is implementing a TMDL or water quality remediation plan; or

(D)  A statewide general permit for new discharges that the secretary deems necessary to assure attainment of the Vermont water quality standards.

(2)  An authorization to discharge regulated stormwater runoff pursuant to a permit issued under this subsection shall be valid for a time period not to exceed five years.  A person seeking to discharge regulated stormwater runoff after the expiration of that period shall obtain an individual permit or coverage under a general permit, whichever is applicable, in accordance with subsection 1263(e) of this title.

(3)  By September 30, 2007 January 15, 2010, the secretary shall issue a watershed improvement permit, submit a TMDL to the EPA for approval issue a general or individual permit implementing a TMDL approved by the EPA, or establish issue a general or individual permit implementing a water quality remediation plan for each of the stormwater-impaired waters on the Vermont Year 2004 Section 303(d) List of Waters required by 33 U.S.C.

§ 1313(d).  In developing a TMDL or a water quality remediation plan for a stormwater-impaired water, the secretary shall consult “A Scientifically Based Assessment and Adaptive Management Approach to Stormwater Management” and “Areas of Agreement about the Scientific Underpinnings of the Water Resources Board’s Original Seven Questions” set out in appendices A and B, respectively, of the final report of the water resources board’s “Investigation Into Developing Cleanup Plans For Stormwater Impaired Waters, Docket No. Inv-03-01,” issued March 9, 2004.  Beginning January 30, 2005 and until a watershed improvement permit, a general or individual permit implementing a TMDL, or a general or individual permit implementing a water quality remediation plan is set for each of the stormwater-impaired waters on the Vermont Year 2004 Section 303(d) List of Waters required by 33 U.S.C. § 1313(d), the secretary shall report annually to the general assembly on agency progress in establishing the watershed improvement permits, TMDLs, and water quality remediation plans for the stormwater-impaired waters of the state; on the accuracy of assessment and environmental efficacy of any stormwater impact fee paid to the state stormwater-impaired waters restoration fund; and on the efforts by the secretary to educate and inform owners of real estate in watersheds of stormwater-impaired waters regarding the requirements of the state stormwater law.

Sec. 2.  27 V.S.A. § 613(e) is amended to read:

(e)  This section shall not apply to any impaired watershed for which the secretary of natural resources has issued a watershed improvement permit, submitted issued an individual permit under a total maximum daily load approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, issued a general permit implementing a total maximum daily load to approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or established issued a general or individual permit implementing a water quality remediation plan.

Sec. 3.  EXTENSION OF SUNSET OF INTERIM STORMWATER  PERMITTING PROGRAM AND CONVEYANCE OF REAL  ESTATE WITH STORMWATER PERMITS

Sec. 10 of No. 140 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004), as amended by Sec. 8 of No. 154 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), is further 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 January 15, 2010.

(b)  Sec. 4 of this act (local communities implementation fund) shall be repealed on September 30, 2012.

(c)  Sec. 6 of this act (stormwater discharge permits during transition period) shall be repealed on September 30, 2007 January 15, 2010.

Sec. 4.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT ON  IMPLEMENTATION OF STORMWATER TMDLS

(a)  Beginning January 15, 2008, and every two years thereafter, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, the senate committee on natural resources and energy, and the house and senate committees on agriculture regarding agency progress in establishing and implementing the total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan for Lake Champlain.  Beginning January 15, 2009, and every two years thereafter, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources and the senate committee on natural resources and energy regarding agency progress in establishing and implementing the TMDLs for the stormwater-impaired waters of the state.  Prior to issuing the reports required under this section, the agency of natural resources shall hold a public hearing in the Lake Champlain watershed and each watershed of a stormwater-impaired water for which a permit has been issued implementing a total maximum daily load.  The reports required by this section shall include:

(1)  An assessment of the implementation plan for the TMDL based on available data, including an evaluation of the efficacy of the implementation plan;

(2)  An assessment of the hydrologic targets of the TMDL based on available data, including an evaluation of the adequacy of the hydrologic targets of the TMDL;

(3)  Recommendations, if any, for amending an implementation plan or reopening a TMDL.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2008, the agency of natural resources shall report to the senate and house committees on institutions, the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources, and the senate committee on natural resources and energy regarding methods for and the cost of reducing phosphorus discharges from wastewater treatment facilities in the Lake Champlain basin.  The report required by this section may be combined with the report required under subsection (a) of this section regarding agency progress in establishing and implementing the TMDL for Lake Champlain.  The report required by this subsection shall include:

(1)  An analysis and summary of the existing phosphorus treatment practices at each wastewater treatment facility in the Lake Champlain basin;

(2)  An analysis of each wastewater treatment facility in the Lake Champlain basin in order to determine the feasibility of each facility reducing the amount of phosphorus it discharges to state waters, including the treatment processes that each facility could implement in order to reduce additional phosphorus discharges;

(3)  An estimate of the capital cost to each wastewater treatment facility in the Lake Champlain basin of implementing the phosphorus reduction treatment processes identified under subdivision (2) of this subsection; and

(4)  Recommended incentives that would encourage wastewater treatment facilities in the Lake Champlain basin to reduce voluntarily phosphorus discharges.

Sec. 5.  10 V.S.A. chapter 47, subchapter 6 is added to read:

Subchapter 6.  Lake Champlain Water Quality

§ 1385.  LAKE CHAMPLAIN TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD

(a)(1)  The secretary of natural resources shall reopen the total maximum daily load (TMDL) plan for Lake Champlain as it pertains to the waters of Vermont in order to:

(A)  Adopt a new hydrologic base year to reflect the average phosphorus load discharged to Lake Champlain between 1993 and 2004;

(B)  Allocate point source and non-point source load reductions on a subwatershed basis;

(C)  Ensure that the total annual phosphorus discharged by all wastewater treatment facilities in the aggregate does not exceed the total phosphorus load discharged to Lake Champlain by all wastewater treatment facilities in the aggregate in 2006 and to adjust aggregate total phosphorus load allocations to Lake Champlain accordingly; and

(D)  Amend pollutant load allocations within the TMDL so as to reduce point source and non-point source load allocations in order to reasonably assure that the TMDL meets the Vermont water quality standards.

(2)  The amended TMDL shall be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as required by 33 U.S.C. § 303.

(b)  In addition to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, the secretary of natural resources shall amend the Vermont-specific implementation plan of the Lake Champlain TMDL to include a strategy for identifying and targeting critical source areas for non-point source pollution in each subwatershed.  For the purposes of this subsection, “critical source area” means an area in a watershed with high potential to release phosphorus to surface or subsurface runoff to waters of the state.

(c)  In amending the TMDL for Lake Champlain under subsection (a) of this section and in amending the Vermont-specific implementation plan of the Lake Champlain TMDL under subsection (b) of this section, the secretary of natural resources shall comply with the public participation requirements of 40 C.F.R. § 130.7(c)(1)(ii).

Sec. 6.  CLEAN AND CLEAR ACTION PLAN INDEPENDENT AUDIT

On or before January 15, 2008, the secretary of administration shall submit to the house and senate committees on appropriations, the house and senate committees on agriculture, the senate committee on natural resources and energy, and the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources a program audit of the progress and efficacy of the clean and clear action plan, including a financial analysis of the utilization and spending of funds appropriated to the agency of natural resources and the agency of agriculture, food and markets as part of the clean and clear action plan.  The audit shall be conducted by a qualified, independent environmental consultant or organization with knowledge of the clean water act, state water quality requirements and programs, and the program elements of the clean and clear action plan.

Sec. 6a.  10 V.S.A. § 1251a(c) is added to read:

(c)  On or before January 15, 2008, the secretary of natural resources shall propose draft rules for an implementation process for the antidegradation policy in the water quality standards of the state.  The implementation process for the antidegradation policy shall be consistent with the state water quality policy established in section 1250 of this title, the Vermont water quality standards, and any applicable requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.  On or before July 1, 2008, a final proposal of the rules for an implementation process for the antidegradation policy shall be filed with the secretary of state under 1 V.S.A. § 841.

Sec. 6b.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT ON  BASIN

               PLANNING

On or before January 15, 2008, the agency of natural resources shall report to the senate committee on natural resources and energy and the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources with a written proposal for utilizing the implementation process for the antidegradation policy required under 10 V.S.A. § 1251a to update the 17 basin plans of the state.  The report shall include:

(1)  A proposed, written procedure for utilizing the antidegradation implementation process to conduct basin planning;

(2)  A summary of the benefits and disadvantages of utilizing the antidegradation process to conduct basin planning;

(3)  An estimate of the cost to the agency of natural resources to conduct basin planning through utilization of the antidegradation process; and

(4)  Any proposed amendments to the Vermont water quality standards that may be necessary to conduct basin planning using the antidegradation implementation process.

Sec. 6c.  ADOPTION OF BASIN PLANS WITHOUT WATER  

               MANAGEMENT TYPES

Notwithstanding the requirements of 10 V.S.A. § 1253(d) and subdivision 1-02(D)(5) of the Vermont water quality standards, the secretary of natural resources, prior to July 1, 2008, may adopt revised basin plans for the the basin of the West, Williams, and Saxton rivers and the basin of the Stevens, Wells, Waits, and Ompompanoosuc rivers without including proposals for water management types in Class B waters, provided that the plans adopted under this section shall be revised within two years of adoption and, upon revision, shall propose water management types or an alternative method of protecting water quality.

Sec. 7.  EFFECTIVE DATE

(a)  This section and Secs. 1 (secretary issuance of TMDLs), 2 (notice of deferral of permit), 3 (extension of interim stormwater permit program), 4 (agency of natural resources TMDL report), 6 (clean and clear action plan audit), 6a (antidegradation implementation procedure), 6b (agency of natural resources report on basin planning), and 6c (adoption of basin plans without water management types) of this act shall take effect upon passage.

(b)  Sec. 5 (Lake Champlain TMDL review and reopening) shall take effect July 1, 2008.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us