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Vermont Conservation Districts

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EPA Announces Public Meetings to Discuss Next Steps in Vermont's Lake Champlain Cleanup Efforts
Monday, 10 November 2014 20:31

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a series of public meetings this month to outline the next steps in Vermont’s efforts to restore water quality in Lake Champlain. The meetings will be moderated by the Lake Champlain Basin Program,and will include both afternoon and evening sessions to encourage participation by all interested persons.

EPA is working closely with the State of Vermont in preparing a formal plan to reduce phosphorous runoff into Lake Champlain by developing a “Total Maximum Daily Load” (TMDL) that will place a cap on the maximum amount of phosphorous that is allowed to enter the Lake and still meet Vermont’s water quality standards. The meetings have three major goals: EPA will provide a technical update on the phosphorus reductions Vermont needs to make, share the process and timeline for completing and implementing the plan, and outline a draft framework for monitoring progress. 

The meetings will be held at the following locations:

-- Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Fox Room, Rutland Free Library 
   10 Court Street, Rutland
-- Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Middlebury Inn, Middlebury
-- Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Bliss Room, St. Albans Historical Society
    9 Church Street, St. Albans
-- Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Doubletree Hotel, Burlington

EPA information on Vermont Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/tmdl/lakechamplain.html

To find the Phase 1 Implementation Plan or other information, view the VTDEC Restoring Lake Champlain Page: http://www.watershedmanagement.vt.gov/erp/champlain/

Conservation Districts Expand Work with Small Farms to Address Water Quality Concerns
Thursday, 15 May 2014 07:16

While the State of Vermont and the US Environmental Protection Agency are working to agree on a plan to clean up Lake Champlain, they are also expanding efforts to help small farms address water quality concerns in cooperation with Vermont’s fourteen Natural Resources Conservation Districts.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Department of Environmental Conservation of the Agency of Natural Resources and USEPA provided a 21-month, $673,271 grant to the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts to help small farms install agricultural water quality best management practices that will protect the State’s waters and support the working landscape.

The grant enables conservation district staff throughout the state to reach out to small farmers regarding Vermont’s Accepted Agricultural Practices – the state’s agricultural water quality regulations – and help them identify and resolve water quality concerns on the farm.  These technical advisors provide information, assess water quality concerns, and help farmers secure funding to implement best management practices aimed at reducing runoff and contamination of the state’s waters.  The improvements not only protect water quality, but help farmers improve operations, protect animal health, and enhance farm viability.  These on-farm improvements include fencing to exclude animals from streams and rivers, construction of stream crossings and animal laneways, improved drainage systems to manage runoff from barns and manure stack pads, and alternative watering systems.  

For examples of best management practices, see the VACD-produced film entitled Small Farms Making a Difference: Water Quality Improvement Success Stories, in which small farm owners showcase the steps they are taking to lessen the impact of agricultural operations on water quality here.

For more information contact:
Jeff Farber, Technical Programs Manager
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