April 28, 2022 | Montpelier, VT - Vermont remains on track to meet its water quality goals. That’s the conclusion of a recent report card issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each year EPA Region 1 evaluates the work being done by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM). The most recent report card gives Vermont high marks.
In its letter to the Agency of Natural Resources, EPA praised Vermont for its work improving the environment. “Beyond the successful implementation in the Winooski, Lamoille, and Mississquoi basins, we are pleased to note the many broader accomplishments documented in the Performance Report. EPA continues to be pleased with the quantity and quality of work completed since passage of Act 64.”
Act 64, the Vermont Clean Water Act, was established in 2015 and is the blueprint for improving the Vermont’s waterways by establishing funding, education, technical assistance and enforcement programs. Last year Vermont invested over $47 million in water quality projects across all land-use sectors. The report highlighted several regions of Vermont where successful strategies are being implemented.
“Each year Vermont produces a comprehensive review of the projects and programs that have been undertaken to help clean up and protect our waterways,” said ANR Secretary Julie Moore. “The magnitude, pace and impact of this work has really accelerated over the last five years, with total investments of more than $250 million in water quality. I appreciate EPA’s review and feedback in helping ensure the success of this important work.”
Since the passage of Act 64 numerous partners such as municipalities, natural resources conservation districts, regional planning commissions, watershed associations, and land conservancies have worked with the Agency of Natural Resources, Agency of Transportation and Agency of Agriculture, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board on a host of programs that are making a difference.
“This report by the EPA is a comprehensive reminder of the teamwork that is really needed to achieve statewide water quality improvements,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “The Agency of Transportation has had the valuable opportunity to refine our past successes of water quality improvements with our municipal partners. Our grant programs provide critical funding to municipalities and have led to increased stewardship, collaboration, and learning across the state. These efforts will result in water quality improvements for our state and its residents for years to come.”
“The issuance of high marks by EPA to Vermont highlights the great work of our state agencies as well as the work being done by watershed groups, farmers, conservation districts, USDA NRCS and Vermonters who care about our land and water,” VAAFM Secretary Anson Tebbetts said. “We know there is more work to be done but this report helps illustrate that we are making progress in meeting our water quality goals. “
You can read more about the EPA report card here (EPA Letter), and more about Vermont’s efforts here: Vermont Clean Water Initiative 2021 Performance Report