Vermont Conservation Voters

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Clean Water

Vermont lawmakers made a historic commitment to funding clean water initiatives in 2021, and we must build on that progress. New federal funding creates an opportunity to address a generational backlog of projects to ensure clean drinking water for all, expand water and sewer infrastructure in our downtowns and villages, address toxic contamination of water systems, and better protect our rivers, streams, wetlands, lakes and ponds, and the biodiversity they support. Through policy initiatives and increased investments, we can better protect and restore our natural systems like wetlands and river corridors. This will help restore water quality for the benefit of all Vermonters, support our tourism and outdoor recreation economies, protect high-quality habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife, mitigate climate change by sequestering and storing carbon, and reduce flood risks.

Legislative Priorities for 2022:

  • Invest at least $135 million in FY23 in clean water initiatives including: • Addressing combined sewer overflows, village drinking and wastewater systems, mobile home park drinking and wastewater system upgrades, flood hazard mitigation via land acquisition, dam removal, and culvert replacement.
    • Update: Historic level of investments adopted!
  • Adopt better protections for riparian areas and river corridors
  • Establish a “net gain” policy for wetlands and support conservation and restoration strategies for these important resources.
  • Authorize ANR to create a program to address the impacts of water withdrawals from Vermont’s lakes, ponds, streams and rivers.
    • Update: Bill enacted!