Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Vermont Lake Shorelands Status

Susan Warren from the Lakes and Ponds Section of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is looking for input from people interested in the health of Vermont lakes and ponds in reference to ACT 138. Please review the following information about the current status of lakeshores in Vermont.

For further information or to provide input, contact the Lakes and Ponds Section Manager, Susan Warren: or 802-490-6134 

Vermont Lake Health is Threatened
Many Vermonters are becoming increasingly concerned about the manner in which our lakeshores are being developed. Enhancements and/or additions to lakeshore programs are needed to ensure lake health and people’s use and enjoyment of lakes continue into the future. The 2012 Vermont Legislature required the Agency of Natural Resources to report on lakeshore management and protection in Vermont, specifically including whether the state should enact statewide shoreland regulations. During the summer and fall of 2012, VTANR will conduct this study and look at: 

-How we might improve existing lakeshore management and protection programs;
-How statewide regulations for lakeshore protection could be structured and administered;
-The benefits and drawbacks of different regulatory and non-regulatory approaches, based on experience in Vermont and in other states; and
-Strategies for building support for improved lakeshore protection.

Vermont’s Lakeshore Conditions
Vermont lakes are threatened by excessive shoreland clearing and lawns to the water’s edge. When a lake’s natural vegetation (woodlands) is removed and replaced by lawns and impervious surfaces, aquatic habitat degrades, shores erode, and the lake is more vulnerable to water quality problems such as blue-green algae blooms. The science is clear that naturally vegetated shores protect lakes’ water quality, ecology, and bank stability; and healthy lakes benefit people’s use and enjoyment of the lakes, property values, as well as our vital tourism economy. However, increasingly, new development or redevelopment on Vermont lakeshores involves nearly complete removal of the native vegetation.
There are a few tools currently available to protect Vermont lakeshores, including education, outreach and technical assistance, municipal zoning (only about 20% of towns have standards that protect lakes), and Act 250 (only a minor amount of shoreland development is covered). Additionally, some shoreland is protected through land conservation projects such as those through a land trust.

According to a US EPA study of lake conditions across the country, Vermont’s lakes rank worse than both the northeast region and the national average in terms of percent of shoreland that is either in fair or poor condition (as measured by the extent of clearing and lawns near the shoreline). VTANR plans to use this study to clearly lay out the shoreland and lake protection choices before Vermonters. 
Since Vermont science clearly indicates degraded lake conditions statewide, our discussion needs to focus on how we can strengthen shoreland protection for all of Vermont's lakes. -Perry Thomas, Past-president, Federation of VT Lakes and Ponds

2012 Status of Vermont Lakeshores
Thirty years of lake monitoring and assessment, including a new study linking cleared shorelands with degraded lake habitat, leave little doubt that healthy lakeshores are critical for healthy lakes. Healthy lakes are essential to our state’s long-term prosperity, both in terms of the economy and environmental sustainability.

Did you know? Only a small percentage of shoreland development is reviewed by either a state program or a municipality to ensure lake-friendly development is practiced.

Shoreland development has increased in intensity such that most property is completely cleared of native vegetation prior to development or redevelopment. Vermont lakeshores are becoming increasingly “suburbanized.”

Lakeshore disturbance (removal of natural vegetation) is the most serious stressor on Vermont lakes, threatening water quality, in-lake habitat and shoreline stability. Of the 203 Vermont lakes assessed for shoreland condition, 24% are in either “fair” condition or “reduced” condition, significantly more than those affected by phosphorus pollution and invasive species combined. There is a strong link between lake water quality and surrounding property values.

The majority of lakeshore erosion that occurred during the Lake Champlain spring floods of 2011 occurred where trees and shrubs had been removed and replaced with grass or lawn.

It is possible to develop a lakeshore property and enjoy the lake in a lake-friendly way!

Lake-friendly shoreland development 
At this shoreland home, the shore has been left in native trees and shrubs, and the clearing for a lawn is set further back from the lake.

This property owner can enjoy the lake and know the lake and shallow water habitat are protected by:  

-Providing bank stability
-Shading the water with overhanging branches
-Avoiding direct runoff from developed areas into the lake
-Providing fallen trees, leaves and other important shallow water habitat features

Lake-shore development that threatens long-term lake health
People choose to clear their shoreland property often to enjoy a view of the lake, however this style of development puts the lake and property at risk by exposing it to:

-Bank erosion Increased sediment and phosphorus pollution of the lake
-Reduced fish and wildlife habitat
-Increased nuisance plant and algae growth -Direct runoff from lawn and driveway into the lake

Friday, October 12, 2012

Goals for the Vermont Statewide Water Quality Trust Fund Report

The Vermont Statewide Water Quality Trust Fund Report needs to accomplish the following tasks in their meetings over the next few weeks.  Please keep them in mind if you plan to attend any of these meetings or if you plan to submit written or electronic comments:

Task One: Identify priority needs for a statewide water quality restoration and preservation program; 
Task Two: Estimate the costs to restore and preserve water quality; 
Task Three: Evaluate options for administering a statewide water quality trust fund; and, 
Task Four: Identify funding sources for water quality restoration and preservation projects.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Consultation Meetings to Prepare The Vermont Statewide Water Quality Trust Fund Report, 2012

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VANR) will consult with interested parties in the development of recommendations for the Vermont Statewide Water Quality Report as described in Act 138.

Here is a list of the meeting dates the VANR anticipates holding this fall:

The timeline for preparing this report is tight, but the VANR is committed to meeting with each sector to gain input, and will update this table when meetings are scheduled. Please contact Kari Dolan, Ecosystem Restoration Program Manager, at: (802) 338-4847 if you have any questions about this report. 

UPDATED Consultation Meetings to Prepare
The Vermont Statewide Water Quality Trust Fund Report, 2012
Proposed Date & Time
Proposed Venue
Internal VANR Meetings
Legislators Meetings

General Meeting – St. Johnsbury
October 9;
St. Johnsbury State Office Building, 1229 Portland Street, Ste. 201 

General Meeting – Ascutney
October 10;
South Windsor Regional Planning Commission Office, Ascutney Professional Bldg,
38 Ascutney Park Road, 2nd Fl  (no elevator access) 

General Meeting – Brattleboro
October 11;
Marlboro College Graduate School. Conference room 2NE,  Rte. 142 South / Vernon Street

General Meeting – Rutland
October 12;
Rutland Regional Planning Commission, 67 Merchants Row, 3Floor 

Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce
October 23;
Grand Isle Lake House
34 East Shore North, Grand Isle 

Green Mountain Water Environment Association Fall Conference
November 2;
1:30-2:30pm (Session D)
Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center

If you cannot attend one of these meetings but will like to comment, please feel free to submit written or electronic comments by COB, Friday, October 26, 2012 to:

Kari Dolan, Manager, Ecosystem Restoration Program
Department of Environmental Conservation Watershed Management Division
1 National Life Drive, Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3522

All written or electronic comments MUST include the following information in order to be considered:


Organization you are representing


Phone number

Email address

Which Task is your comment addressing?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summary of “Rivers Bill” Components of Act 138

Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Rivers Program, Watershed Management Division

Act 138, known as the Rivers and Lakes Bill (S.202), was signed into law by Governor Peter Shumlin on May 14, 2012.  The following summary focusses primarily on the “Rivers Bill” components of the legislation.  When fully implemented, Act 138 will promote:

1)    Natural floodplain function, decreasing our reliance on expensive and increasingly vulnerable man-made structures to protect us from flood hazards;

2)    River management practices to minimize environmental impacts and river erosion hazard, especially in response to the imminent public safety and infrastructure threats we address after a major flood like Irene; and

3)    Natural stream and river stability by helping towns identify and protect highly sensitive river corridors.

Unless otherwise specified, the following statutory provisions and requirements are effective immediately.

Objective: Comply with the NFIP, and protect floodplains in partnership with Vermont communities.

·       Increases support for towns seeking technical reviews of floodplain development proposals.  ANR has been given the authority to delegate to trained RPC and municipal staff the authority to review development proposals requiring municipal permits under the NFIP.   By creating a greater network of professionals to assist towns with floodplain regulation, Vermont will substantially increase municipal participation, awareness, and protection of their floodplain assets.

·       Requires State regulation of floodplain encroachments currently exempt from municipal regulation (agriculture, silviculture, transportation, utilities, schools, etc.).  Importantly, this action will help bring Vermont into compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  States that are not in compliance risk suspension from the NFIP and loss of access to the federally subsidized insurance (which paid out 49 million to Vermont policy holders after Irene).  The rules must be in effect by July 1, 2014.

·       Allows for State floodplain regulations that are more protective than those required by the NFIP.  The ANR would be required to work with FEMA, sister agencies, and other interested parties to adopt floodplain rules.  The regulation of certain floodplain activities may be delegated by the ANR to other state agencies of jurisdiction (e.g., floodplain developments sought by farmers would be regulated by the Agency of Agriculture).

·       Allows the Agency to regulate floodplain developments through a General Permit, which would create an opportunity to spend limited state resources on those floodplain activities which have the greatest potential to impact floodplain functions.  

·       Requires the ANR to promote floodplain protections through an outreach program that would include helping towns adopt model floodplain protection bylaws and ordinances that would exceed the minimum criteria of the NFIP in terms of hazard mitigation.

Objective: Reduce the vulnerability of private and public property and river ecosystems after floods.

·       Allows the State to adopt stream alteration rules.  Rule-making authority provides the opportunity for the State to engage interested parties in codifying the management criteria necessary to meet statutory intent.

·       Requires the State to adopt rules for conducting emergency protective measures after a flood.  Starting March 1, 2013 municipalities will be required to notify the Agency within 24 hours (instead of 72 hours) of taking an emergency protective measure in a river.   New rules and associated technical procedures will assist town officials in identifying imminent threats and the emergency measures that will reduce the vulnerability of town citizens and their property in future floods.   New Emergency River Management Rules, in effect by March 1, 2013, will:
o   Require an activity to be permitted either through an individual permit or under the coverage of a General Permit;
o   Prohibit the construction of berms unless deemed by the Agency to be a necessary emergency protective measure;
o   Provide activity specific criteria such that emergency protective measure are conducted in manner consistent with the statutory criteria for stream alterations:
(1) Will not adversely affect the public safety by increasing flood or fluvial erosion hazards;
(2) Will not significantly damage fish life or wildlife;
(3) Will not significantly damage the rights of riparian owners; and
(4) In case of any waters designated by the board as outstanding resource waters, will not adversely affect the values sought to be protected by designation.
o   Address the management of large woody debris in stream channels after floods.

·       Specifies that the State regulates the movement, fill, of excavation of 10 cy or more of instream material, which includes all gradations of sediment, ledge rock, and large woody debris.

·       Requires the ANR to establish and maintain a river management training program to help Vtrans, municipalities, consulting engineers, RPCs, and ANR staff identify river instability and design river restoration and protection measures that will both protect river ecosystems and minimize river erosion hazards.

Objective: Increase incentives for river corridor planning and protection.

·       Allows for the adoption of rules and requires the adoption of procedures to delineate and protect river corridors and reduce fluvial erosion hazards.   The rules would promote the public interest by encouraging municipal shoreland and river corridor protection area zoning bylaws.   A River Corridor Protection Area is an area within a river corridor subject to fluvial erosion and may occur as a river establishes and maintains the dimension, pattern, and profile associated with dynamic equilibrium condition and that would represent a hazard to life, property, and infrastructure placed within the area.  

·       Establishes the River Corridor and Floodplain Management Program.  This change acknowledges the importance of combining the State policy, planning, and regulation of the landforms critical to the management of inundation and fluvial erosion hazards.  For instance the legislation requires the Agency to develop recommended best management practices for river corridors, floodplains, and buffers.

·       Requires ANR to conduct stream geomorphic assessments and provide river corridor plans, maps, and model protection bylaws to municipalities.  Statutory changes require that river corridors to be delineated and mapped based on river sensitivity where a river poses a probable risk of harm to life, property, and infrastructure.  River sensitivity means the potential of the river, given its inherent characteristics and present geomorphic conditions to be subject to a high rate of fluvial erosion and other river channel adjustments, including erosion, deposits of sediment, and flooding.  This statutory definition creates an important link between the vertical stability of a river (equilibrium conditions) and the public’s interest in safety and property protection, which are primary objectives in regulating stream alterations.

·       Requires the ANR, RPCs, and municipality to post completed river corridor maps of public web sites.  The maps will include and recommend best management practices for river corridor protection areas, flood hazard areas (NFIP floodplains), and buffers.  In addition to providing maps, the State will provide municipalities with alternative river corridor protection area bylaws and ordinances.

·       Requires the Secretary of Administration to establish a Flood Resilient Communities Program.  Through this Program the State would provide increasing financial incentives to those municipalities that have taken greater and greater steps to protect river corridors and floodplains and mitigate other flood and fluvial erosion hazards.  

·       Provides authority for municipalities to regulate development within river corridor protection areas.  Towns may now adopt freestanding bylaws to protect river corridor protection areas.

Act 138 also contains provisions for:

Stormwater: Provide the ANR the authority to adopt rules regulating stormwater discharges during an emergency; and requires ANR to report to the legislature by January 15, 2014 regarding the use of voluntary credits for stormwater discharges from renewable energy projects located at an elevation above 1,500 feet (i.e. wind energy projects). 

ANR Water Quality Remediation, Implementation, and Funding Report: On or before December 15, 2012, require the Secretary to report to the legislative committees with recommendations on how to remediate or improve the water quality of the state’s surface waters, how to implement remediation or improvement of water quality, and how to fund the remediation or improvement of water quality. The Report must include a description of how the state should regulate development in shorelands of lakes, including whether the state should enact statewide regulation for activities within shorelands of lakes and whether any regulation of activities within shorelands should be based on site-specific criteria.

Transfer of Rulemaking from the Water Resources Panel to the ANR: including the authority to establish mixing zones, adopt water quality standards, make declaratory rulings; establish water quality classifications; establish rules to regulate the use of the public waters, rules to govern the surface levels of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs that are public waters of the state, and rules for considering the size and flow of the navigable waters.

Vermont Housing And Conservation Trust Fund:  The Bill would add “the protection of lands for multiple conservation purposes, including the protection of surface waters and associated natural resources” to the list of eligible land conservation activities supported by the Conservation Trust Fund.

Lake Champlain TMDL Implementation Plan:  Establish that within 12 months after the issuance of a phosphorus total maximum daily load plan (TMDL) for Lake Champlain by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the ANR shall issue a revised Vermont-specific implementation plan for the Lake Champlain TMDL and update it every 4 years thereafter. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

H.779 - now S.202 = Act 138

As signed into law:

H.779, an act relating to the water quality of state surface waters, which included the Water Quality Remediation, Implementation, and Funding Report, was incorporated into Senate Bill 202 and was passed by the Senate on March 23. The bill was further amended and was passed by the House on April 27.  The amended bill went back to the Senate where the House amendments were concurred with on May 2.  It was signed by the Governor on May 14 and is now law.  S.202, which became Act 138 with the Governor’s signature, is a long (72 pages) and extremely complex piece of legislation that affects many aspects of water quality management in Vermont.  We will break it down into several sections over the next several weeks

The first part of Act 138 addresses issues that arose in the aftermath of the statewide flooding that occurred as a result of Tropical Storm Irene last August.  Act 138 modifies existing state requirements, establishes new requirements, and provides towns with assistance to ensure compliance with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements for the regulation of development and to ensure eligibility for flood insurance under the NFIP.  It requires ANR to conduct training programs and develop permit programs to regulate stream alterations, stormwater discharges, and repairs and maintenance to stormwater infrastructure during emergencies such as flooding.

Act 138 also addresses assessing the sensitivity of rivers to flooding, requires river corridor mapping and recommendations for best management practices, and requires technical and financial planning assistance for towns to reduce the risk of harm to life, property, or infrastructure in floodplains, river corridor protection areas and flood hazard areas.  

In Act 138 the general assembly agreed that: All waters of the state are at risk of pollution or impairment.  Our lakes, ponds, and rivers are further compromised because of last year’s flooding.  Under state and federal law, the state is required to prevent impairment or degradation of its waters.  The ability to respond to multiple state and federal water quality requirements is going to require significant funding and the state does not currently have the money to respond to the demands of protecting water quality and to repair those waterbodies that need attention.  The development of a statewide mechanism, such as a statewide clean water utility, is necessary to address regulatory demands and to prioritize investment in water quality projects throughout the state so that the protection and improvement of water quality is achieved in the most cost-effective manner.

In order to identify how the state should respond to existing and future demands to remediate and protect state surface waters, Act 138 requires that the secretary of natural resources (ANR) submit a report on or before December 15, 2012 to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources; the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy; the house and senate committees on agriculture; and the house and senate committees on transportation with recommendations on how to remediate or improve the water quality of the state’s surface waters, how to implement remediation or improvement of water quality, and how to fund the remediation or improvement of water quality.

The report must address the following issues:

1. How should state and local water quality remediation and conservation efforts be paid for?  A recommendation for funding sources or a funding mechanism(s) for ongoing water quality efforts in the state must be included in the report. The report must address whether to implement a statewide assessment or fee, such as a clean water utility fee, an impervious surface fee, a Clean Water Act certification fee, impact fees, or other fees or charges.

2. How should water quality programs and funds be designed and administered?  The report must recommend whether a statewide “clean water utility” should be established, whether the utility should be run by an existing agency of state government (such as ANR or the Natural Resources Board), or is more suitable for an independent, nongovernmental organization to implement (perhaps using a model similar to that employed by Efficiency Vermont). If the clean water utility is to be administered by an independent, nongovernmental organization, the report needs to address how this organization should be established and administered.  The report must also address whether water quality programs could be effectively implemented through regional water quality utilities or similar mechanisms already authorized under 24 V.S.A. chapters 105 and 121.

3. How should the funds be allocated?  Should a science-based system that focuses on high risk areas be used?  Should funds be made available for the development of municipal or regional water quality utilities?  How can funds be distributed to make sure all regions in Vermont are treated in an equitable way?  Should additional priority points be awarded to certain water quality projects eligible for funding from the special environmental revolving fund under 24 V.S.A. chapter 120?

4. The report also needs to address agricultural water quality.  ANR must consult with the secretary of agriculture, food and markets and the agricultural community to figure out how to regulate agricultural runoff and how to implement water quality standards for agricultural operations.  Are additional requirements, standards, technical assistance, or financial assistance needed to increase compliance with AAPs (accepted agricultural practices)?  Should all small farms, or just a subset of small farms, be required to have nutrient management plans or apply nutrients at a more stringent soil loss tolerance than currently required? 

5. Stormwater needs to be taken into consideration.  How should stormwater runoff be regulated to meet Vermont Water Quality Standards?  Are additional requirements, standards, technical assistance, or financial assistance necessary to improve the management of stormwater runoff in the state?

6. How should the state work toward protecting and restoring lake shorelands?  How should the state regulate activities within shorelands of lakes?  Should the state enact statewide regulation for these activities?  Should there be site-specific criteria for these sensitive areas?

7. How should the state respond to and remediate nutrient pollution from critical source areas?  The report needs to address how to identify critical source areas, including the Lake Champlain Basin; propose a process and provide a cost estimate for developing site-specific implementation plans to reduce discharges from critical source areas; and explain how basin planning will be used in such a process.

8. How should the state prioritize its response to these water quality concerns?  How should the state prioritize funding and water quality personnel so that individual water quality issues are addressed and remediated?

9. How will the recommendations or plans included in the report be implemented?  ANR must consult with interested parties within the legislature and across the state that are relevant to the completion of this report.  Meetings with interested parties must be warned by posting a meeting notice to ANR’s website no later than seven days before the meeting.

The report required by Act 138, which is to be presented to the legislature on or before December 15, 2012, may include recommended draft legislation.

Act 138 also transfers rulemaking authority from the Natural Resources Board’s Water Resources Panel to ANR for the following:
            Wetlands Rules for the identification, classification and protection of significant wetlands
            Rules for the Classification of Waters of the State
            Water Quality Standards and related declaratory rulings
            Rules Regulating Use of Public Waters
            Rules Regulating Surface Water Levels of Public Waters
            Rules implementing the Management of Lakes and Ponds Program (Shoreline Encroachment Program)

Next blog entry:  More detail on the transfer of Natural Resources Board/Water Resources Panel rulemaking authority to ANR

Sunday, April 29, 2012

According to the LGA News (Lake George Association E-newsletter), a new invasive species bill has been introduced by the New York State Legislature. The bill has passed the house and it is on it’s way to the state senate.  As of April 26, 2012, the legislation has cleared the senate's Environmental Conservation Committee and is headed to the senate for a vote.

"The law authorizes the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to “establish a list of invasive species that will be prohibited from being sold, transported, and introduced in New York State.”

“This law would enable the DEC to develop a system that would contain two lists: one of prohibited species, and a second of regulated species. In addition, a permit would be required for prohibited species disposal, control, research and education.” (LGA News)

The E-newsletter points out that Vermont already has this kind of law, along with two other New England states - Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Information from: LGA News, The E-newsletter of the Lake George Association, April 26, 2012.

You can click here for more information about the Lake George Association and about the passage of this bill. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

H. 779 - An act relating to the water quality of state surface waters

H. 779 passed the House and is in Senate Natural Resources on March 23, 2012. FOVLAP Legislative Update readers should take note that there is an important aspect of the bill that transfers the existing rulemaking authority of the Water Resources Panel of the Natural Resources Board to the Agency of Natural Resources. Specifically, the Agency would now be doing the following rulemaking:

surface water levels of lakes, ponds and reservoirs
water quality classifications
VT Water Quality Standards
surface use of public waters
wetlands rules
rules for management of lakes and ponds (encroachments)

The bill further requires that in addition to the standard public participation requirements in current law (3 V.S.A. chapter 25) and prior to submitting a proposed rule to the secretary of state, the department of environmental conservation must engage in an expanded public participation process with affected stakeholders and other interested persons in a dialogue about intent, method, and outcomes of a proposed rule for the purpose of resolving concerns and differences regarding proposed rules. The department of environmental conservation is encouraged to use workshops, focused work groups, dockets, meetings, or other forms of communication to meet the participation requirements of this bill.

We will let you know if and how this bill changes as it progresses through the Senate.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

H. 779 - An act relating to the water quality of state surface waters

The secretary of natural resources would be required to submit a report to the general assembly pertaining to the water quality of Vermont lakes, ponds, and rivers no later than December 15, 2012. The report would detail current problems with water quality, figure out how to address these problems, and detail a plan to pay for improving the quality of state waters.

The bill would also transfer the rulemaking authority of the water resources panel of the natural resources board to the Agency of Natural Resources.

All waters of the state are at risk of pollution or impairment.  For example, Lake Champlain is impaired due to phosphorus pollution that exceeds the Vermont water quality standards. In total there are more than 100 lakes and river segments that are considered to be impaired throughout Vermont. Our lakes, ponds, and rivers are further compromised because of last year’s flooding. Under state and federal law, the state is required to prevent impairment or degradation of its waters.

One possible strategy for generating the funding needed to protect and restore the waters of the state would be to develop a statewide mechanism, such as a statewide “clean water utility,” to raise revenue, address regulatory demands and to prioritize the most critical water quality projects throughout the state so our waters are protected in the most cost-effective way. Another consideration is whether the utility should be run by an existing agency of state government such as ANR or the Natural Resources Board, or an independent, nongovernmental organization (using a model similar to that employed by Efficiency Vermont). If the clean water utility is to be administered by an independent, nongovernmental organization, the report needs to address how will this organization should be established and administered. One last possibility is that water quality programs could be effectively implemented through regional water quality utilities or similar mechanisms already authorized under 24 V.S.A. chapters 105 and 121.

Options for generating the revenue include implementing a statewide assessment or fee, such as a clean water utility fee, an impervious surface fee, a Clean Water Act certification fee, impact fees, or other fees or charges.

The report would answer questions like: How should water quality funds be allocated?  Should high risk of pollution in impaired, unimpaired, or high quality waters be the most important consideration?  How to ensure equity in the distribution of water quality funds throughout the state?

The report would also address a broad suite of questions about the on-going implementation of a number of water quality programs.  These include: How will regulation of agricultural runoff and application of water quality standards to agricultural operations be implemented?  Should there be additional requirements, standards, technical assistance, or financial assistance to increase compliance with the Accepted Agricultural Practices (AAPs)?  Should AAPs should be amended to require all small farms to apply nutrients according to a nutrient management plan or at a more stringent soil loss tolerance than is currently required? How should regulation of stormwater runoff be managed and enforced in order to meet the Vermont water quality standards? How should the state work toward the restoration and protection of shorelands of lakes?   Should the state regulate development in shorelands of lakes?  What would be an appropriate process and cost for developing site-specific implementation plans to reduce discharges from areas with high potential for the release, discharge, or runoff of nutrients or pollutants, so called “critical source areas”?

March 22, 2012: We will keep you posted on how this bill changes as it goes through the committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.  As of March 22, 2012, the bill has been placed on the Calender for Notice on March 20, 2012.  A third reading was ordered March 22, 2012.