The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has developed a comprehensive approach to the regulation of farms in the State in order to best protect water resources. The development of a three-tiered approach to regulating Vermont farms allows for a logical progression in regulatory oversight as a farm grows in size from a small farm subject to regulation under the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) Regulations, to a Medium Farm Operation (MFO) regulated under the state's MFO General Permit, to a Large Farm Operation (LFO) regulated under a LFO Individual Permit. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), cases involving suspected point source discharges of waste to water are referred to the ANR Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for investigation. (See below for a link to the MOU.)
Regulatory Enforcement Process
Act 64 Vermont's Clean Water Act Recognizes VAAFM water quality enforcement authority in 6 V.S.A. Chapter 215 Subchapter 10.
- VAAFM now has the authority to
- issue emergency orders to protect water quality;
- require the implementation of mandatory corrective actions; and
- remove livestock when the volume of waste exceeds farm capacity.
- Under 6 V.S.A. Chapter. 215, when VAAFM identifies a small, medium, or large farm in violation of the RAP, MFO, or LFO requirements, VAAFM shall initiate the enforcement process.
- MOU between AAFM and ANR Regarding Implementation and Enforcement of Agricultural Water Quality Programs