2024 Legislative Bills Update

Compiled by the FOVLAP Legislative Committee

As of February 5th, 2024

New Bills: S.213

Reinstate Watch: H.373

HOUSE Bills (as of February 5th, 2024)


H.373 An act relating to use of expanded polystyrene foam in waters of the State

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to require that when a person installs a buoy, dock, or floating structure on the waters of the State, expanded polystyrene foam used for flotation shall be encapsulated by a protective covering or shall be designed to prevent the expanded polystyrene foam from disintegrating into the water. The bill also would prohibit a person from selling, distributing, or using certain expanded polystyrene foam products in or on the waters of the State.

H.551 An act relating to wake sports zones on State waters

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to authorize a municipality in which a wake sports zone is located or partially located to vote to extend the distance of the wake sports zone from the shore up to 1,000 feet for that portion of the zone within the boundaries of the municipality.

H.589 An act relating to aquatic nuisance control

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to amend the requirements for issuance by the Agency of Natural Resources of a permit for application of chemicals in a water of the State.

H.609 An Act relating to repealing the Motorboat Registration Fund and establishing the Lake Protection and Access Pass for use of State waters

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to repeal the Motorboat Registration Fund and have all motorboat registration fees and penalties deposited in the Transportation Fund in compliance with federal law.  This bill also proposes to require the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife to issue the Lake Protection and Access Pass that owners or operators of motorboats and nonmotorized vessels would be required to annually obtain and affix to all motorboats and nonmotorized vessels operating in the waters of the  State, with fees on the sale of Lake Protection and Access Passes deposited into a special fund to be used for aquatic nuisance control in the State and boating access areas in the State.

SENATE Bills (as of February 5th, 2024)


S.213 An act relating to the regulation of wetlands, river corridor development, and dam safety

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced:  This bill proposes to amend provisions related to wetlands, river corridor development, and dam safety.  The bill would establish as State policy that wetlands shall be regulated and managed to produce a net gain of wetlands acreage.  The Secretary of Natural Resources would be required to amend wetlands rules to incorporate the net gain policy.  The bill would require the Vermont Significant Wetlands Inventory maps to be updated and revised annually.  The bill would also require amendment to the existing Vermont Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Rule to adopt requirements for issuing and enforcing permits for development within a flood hazard area or a mapped river corridor in the State.

S.146 An act relating to the permitting of indirect discharges (replaces H.84)

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to clarify how indirect discharges of wastewater in the State are permitted, including compliance with the Vermont Water Quality Standards and the State Antidegradation Implementation Rule.

Older Bills – Introduced in the 2023 legislative session and still active


H.30 An act relating to the regulation of wetlands

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to establish as State policy that wetlands shall be regulated and managed by the State to produce a net gain of wetlands acreage.  The bill would require the Secretary of Natural Resources to amend the Vermont Wetlands Rules to incorporate the net gain policy.  In addition, the bill would require the Vermont Significant Wetlands Inventory maps to be updated and revised annually.

H.64 An act relating to prohibiting wake boats on oligotrophic lakes

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to allow the 10 municipality or municipalities surrounding an oligotrophic lake to prohibit the use of wake boats on the oligotrophic lake and to create a modified process for the Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, to amend the Vermont Use of Public Waters Rules when a municipality or municipalities surrounding an oligotrophic lake have prohibited the use of wake boats on the oligotrophic lake.

H.84 An act relating to the permitting of indirect discharges

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to clarify how indirect discharges of wastewater in the State are permitted, including compliance with the Vermont Water Quality Standards and the Agency of Natural Resources’ pending Antidegradation Implementation Rule.

H.185 An act relating to authorizing dredging for navigation of public waters

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to authorize the Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a permit for the dredging of a navigable water in the State to improve navigation of the water.  The bill also would establish the Working Group on Navigation of Lake Champlain to evaluate and facilitate the dredging of Lake Champlain between Mallet’s Bay and the Inland Sea to improve navigation of Lake Champlain for purposes of public safety, emergency response, and environmental protection.

H.345 An act relating to lakes in crisis and requirements for designation

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to declare Lake Memphremagog a lake in crisis and eliminate the criteria of declining real property value in the municipality in which the lake is located for the lake in crisis designation.