Location: House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife

Last Recorded Action: House 1/21/2020 – Read First Time and Referred to the Committee onĀ Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife

Subject: Conservation and development; water quality; water quality standards; certification.

Statement of purpose of bill as introduced: This bill proposes to amend the Vermont Water Quality Standards (VWQS) to clarify that the standards apply to wetlands and discharges to wetlands. The bill also would amend the VWQS to require that any federal Clean Water Act (CWA) section 401 certification issued by the State for waters or for wetlands shall include: an evaluation of water quality impacts on waters and wetlands and an evaluation of alternative means of accomplishing the proposed action for which certification is sought. The bill would require that the State conduct a cumulative impacts analysis of the water quality impacts on waters and wetlands of an activity subject to the CWA section 401 certification. A CWA section 401 certification would not be granted unless the Secretary of Natural Resources determines one of the following: it is more likely than not that the proposed activity will not cause significant impacts; or when an alternatives analysis is required, there may be significant impacts but no practicable alternative exists.

Read bill as introduced (11 pages)

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