This bill proposes to establish a Water Quality Improvement Fund which uses existing revenues to fund water quality improvement, including implementation and administration of municipal stormwater management programs.  This fund will be known as the “Water Quality Improvement Fund” and there will be two accounts within this funding source; the Capital Account and the Administrative Account.

The Capital Account will be used to fund capital construction and infrastructure projects.  It will be funded through an annual appropriation of $6 million by the General Assembly (the Capital Construction Act to the Vermont EPA Pollution Control Revolving Fund) and by appropriations by the General Assembly to the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR).

The Administrative Account will be used to support activities that improve the water quality of waters in the State.  It will be funded by 25% of the revenue from the property transfer tax and by sums appropriated by the General Assembly.

The Capital Account request for funds will be prioritized as follows:

First priority will be given to proposed projects/programs that address areas of high risk of pollution or high loading of sediment in Lake Champlain in municipalities with an established stormwater district, stormwater utility, or other similar mechanism for regulating stormwater.

Next priorities for funding from the Capital Account in order of importance: proposed projects/programs that address areas of high risk of pollution or high loading of sediment in Lake Champlain; projects identified by ANR as water quality problems that need immediate remediation or response; projects/programs that address areas of high risk of pollution to waters listed as impaired; projects that implement TMDLs in waters listed as impaired; and projects/programs that address areas of high risk in unimpaired water.

The Administrative Account request for funds will be prioritized as follows:

The first priority will be given to activities or projects in municipalities in the Lake Champlain Basin that have an established stormwater district, stormwater utility, or other mechanism in place for the regulation of stormwater that will improve water quality.

Next priorities for funding from the Administrative Account in order of importance: Municipalities in the Lake Champlain Basin who will establish a stormwater district, stormwater utility, or other similar mechanism for the regulation of stormwater within 6 months of their application for capital funding; other municipalities who will establish a stormwater district, stormwater utility, or other similar mechanism for the regulation of stormwater within 6 months of their application for capital funding; and projects/programs in all municipalities that address high risk or high loading of sediment.

Status: Released for introduction.

Click here to read the current version of this bill.

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