Vermont Water Supply Rule

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This rule is intended to serve a number of purposes. First, and most important, the rule's primary purpose is to regulate water systems in the state so that they provide clean and safe drinking water to Vermont's citizens. This is true for the smallest, single house source to the state's largest system. The rule also establishes well construction standards (contained in Part 12 of Appendix A) which apply to every constructed well in Vermont regardless of the type of facility it serves. Second, by implementing this rule, Vermont qualifies to retain "primacy" for the Safe Drinking Water Act from the federal US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Primacy means that the state will administer the federal regulations that apply to all public water systems in the country, instead of EPA. Without state regulations that are at least as strict as the federal ones, Vermont may not administer the federal regulations. We think having primacy represents an advantage to Vermont's water systems. The federal regulations contain some optional provisions that permit exceptions to the regulations when mitigating factors make it difficult or impossible to follow the regulation. Also, there are situations where interpretations of the federal regulations can be made by states with primacy that provide some benefit to the public water systems. EPA has stated that, in the event that they have to administer their own rules in a state without primacy, they will not have the resources to provide most of these permitted exceptions to the regulations. Third, this document contains all of the state's major regulations concerning water systems in a single document, which, in spite of its size, makes it easier for both the regulators and the regulated community to carry out their respective roles. The Agency will bind the various parts of the rule (discussed below) into smaller packages that make sense for the intended recipient.
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