Clean and Clear Action Plan
The Vermont Clean and Clear Action Plan was initiated in 2003 with the goal of accelerating the reduction of phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain and reducing related pollutants in waters statewide. The state has appropriated more than $42 million for Clean and Clear over the first five years of this effort, and Vermont’s commitment to Clean and Clear has stimulated an additional $42 million in federal funds for supporting programs. As a result, the Agencies of Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Transportation have been able to greatly expand their programs to implement the phosphorus loading reductions required by the Lake Champlain Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan, and to address similar water quality needs statewide.
The Clean and Clear Action Plan involves implementation of a suite of programs, most based in either the Agency of Natural Resources or the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, that support the pollution reduction blueprint forged in the Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL, as approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In general, these programs are designed to better manage the landscape in order to “turn off the spigot” and reduce the annual load of phosphorus pollution being delivered to Lake Champlain. Programs include efforts to install the necessary structures in barnyards to prevent direct farmstead discharges, minimize the further loss of floodplain function in order to maximize watershed storage of sediment and nutrients, reduce stormwater erosion in urban and suburban areas as well as along backroads, and eliminate discharges of improperly or untreated sewage. Since its inception in 2004, the Clean and Clear program has supported hundreds of water quality projects throughout the state, ranging from securing belt-width river corridor easements on active channels in watersheds from the Batten Kill to the Missisquoi, to providing incentives for more than 8,000 acres of cover cropping, to providing technical and financial assistance to nearly 150 towns to reduce road-related erosion.
- Vermont Emergency Watershed Protection Program
- Vermont EPSCo tarr Streams Mapping project
- Vermont Water Quality Division