In 2010, ANR established the Green Infrastructure Roundtable – a group of interested parties representing both the public and private sectors. The Roundtable assists the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources in moving Green Stormwater Infrastructure initiatives and strategies forward. The group was instrumental in the development of the GSI Strategic Plan and is now a driving force behind its implementation.
What follows is a summary of the GI Roundtable structure. It creates a clear system for information flow both up and down the chain, utilizes individual expertise and interest, ties in with existing networks, increases communication, and focuses energies in specific, defined areas.
GI Roundtable Google Group
The GI Roundtable Google Group operates like an open listserv and conversation tool. Members post questions, announcements, and inspirations to spark discussion and share information outside of regularly scheduled GI Roundtable meetings. It also allows increased participation by individuals who are unable to participate due to temporal or geographic constraints. If used effectively, the Google Group helps identify potential agenda topics for in person meetings, training needs or opportunities, funding sources, gaps in knowledge, and useful data. The Google Group is open to anyone interested in LID and/or GSI principles and practices who lives in the NE region of the US. It’s moderated by the Green Infrastructure Collaborative with assistance from Steering Committee members.
The Steering Committee is made up of four members (more as necessary) representing at a minimum each of the following agencies, organizations, or groups: Lake Champlain Sea Grant (LCSG), Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies (VAPDA), and the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). The purpose of the Steering Committee is two-fold: to provide general oversight of the GI Roundtable and to support the implementation of the Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan. Members of the Steering Committee are expected to attend quarterly meetings, assist in the development of meeting agendas and logistics, actively participate on sub-committees, and act as a conduit for information both within and outside the Roundtable. Additional meetings of the Steering Committee may be necessary from time to time.
Professional Working Group
The Professional Working Group is a sub-committee of the GI Roundtable. It is made up of a representative of AWSP and two to three other individuals who represent or are connected with other professional networks. This sub-committee works specifically on furthering the objectives and tasks outlined in the Strategic Plan as they relate to design professionals (see below). Members are expected to attend quarterly meetings. Additional meetings in person or over the phone may be necessary from time to time.
Objective 1. Design professionals statewide are trained in promoting and utilizing GI practices.
- Increase training opportunities for stormwater design professionals.
- Offer yearly training in utilizing GI practices via the stormwater manual. Seek professional credits i.e. Engineers, LA’s, CPESC.
- Offer quarterly web-trainings on GI practices.
- Offer yearly in-depth training on the technical aspects of GI practices.
- Investigate GI training/certification program for design professionals that include incentives i.e. expedited permitting.
- Establish training partnerships with design professional associations.
- Offer training with CEUs to wastewater design professionals in GI practices.
- Identify and promote higher educational programs that support GI work.
- Improve communication between design professionals working with stormwater.
- Investigate and promote existing networks of design professionals - i.e. NPS Information Listserv.
- Develop a Vermont specific networking tool for design professionals.
- Develop a database of design professionals utilizing GI practices.
- Investigate adding GI project designation in existing stormwater permit database.
- Provide tools and resources for design professionals to incorporate GI on projects.
- Work with the media to promote GI messages, practices and projects.
- Compile and share data demonstrating benefits associated with GI practices with an emphasis on cost savings.
- Develop and disseminate supporting documentation & tools on how to use GI practices to meet the current stormwater regulations i.e. calculation worksheets, workshop proceedings.
Municipal Working Group
The Municipal Working Group is a sub-committee of the GI Roundtable. It is made up of a representative from VAPDA and two to three other individuals who work closely with municipalities and other governmental units. This sub-committee works specifically on furthering the objectives and tasks outlined in the Strategic Plan as they relate to municipalities (see below). Members are expected to attend quarterly meetings. Additional meetings in person or over the phone may be necessary from time to time.
Objective 2. Municipalities recognize the impacts from stormwater runoff and work to mitigate the effects.
- Municipalities regulate land use with the understanding of the impacts on water quality and natural hydrologic systems.
- Identify and assess the barriers to GI in current municipal regulations.
- Develop set of tools and training opportunities for local planning review boards to assess the hydrologic impacts of development activities.
- Develop and disseminate library of financial and technical resources to support local GI planning efforts.
- Work with ANR’s Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) to include preference in grant applications for municipalities who are addressing the impacts of stormwater locally.
- Identify mechanism to support demonstration projects on municipal properties.
- Municipalities provide regulatory support for stormwater management.
- Strategize which towns need GI regulations most and collaborate with Non-point Education for Municipal Officials Program (NEMO) and Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) to reach out to them with existing VLCT by-law materials.
- Provide access to model GI regulations.
- Offer yearly technical training to municipal planning commissions / development review boards on how to evaluate new development projects for GI components.
- Municipalities provide non-regulatory incentives to reduce stormwater runoff.
- Develop financial resources guide for local GI implementation.
- Investigate offering expedited stormwater permitting to towns with GI bylaws.
- Develop outreach material on incentives options.
Citizens Working Group
The Citizens Working Group is a sub-committee of the GI Roundtable. It is made up of a representative from LCSG and two to three other individuals who work on public education, outreach, and demonstration projects. This sub-committee works specifically on furthering the objectives and tasks outlined in the Strategic Plan as they relate to property owners (see below). Members are expected to attend quarterly meetings. Additional meetings in person or over the phone may be necessary from time to time.
Objective 3. Property owners voluntarily advocate for and implement green infrastructure practices.
- Developed property owners are aware of, understand, and feel empowered to address the environmental issues associated with stormwater runoff and options available to address them.
- Inventory and assess existing messaging / outreach campaigns for stormwater in Vermont.
- Identify gaps & assess the effectiveness of existing stormwater messaging / outreach campaigns.
- Work with Green Infrastructure Roundtable to develop a targeted, statewide messaging/outreach campaign to fill gaps in existing messaging.
- Work with partners to spread key GI messages to target audiences.
- Property owners have access to accurate technical and educational information for implementing GI projects.
- Develop an interactive website on GI practices with details on installation.
- Provide access to technical training on GI practices.
- Offer mechanism to match GI experienced professionals to interested property owners.
- Review existing technical & educational resources to identify gaps.
- Develop technical and educational resources to fill in identified gaps.
- Offer incentives for homeowners to implement GI practices.
- Seek grant funding and partnerships to offer financial aid to private landowners to install GI practices on their properties.
- Investigate recognition/certification program for GI.
- Capture & share success stories.
Agency Working Group
The Agency Working Group is a sub-committee of the GI Roundtable. It is made up of a representative of ANR and two to three other individuals from State government. This sub-committee works specifically on furthering the objectives and tasks outlined in the Strategic Plan as they relate to State agencies (see below). Members are expected to attend quarterly meetings. Additional meetings in person or over the phone may be necessary from time to time.
Objective 4. State Agencies secure and commit funding to develop policies and programs to support green infrastructure.
- The Vermont Stormwater Program encourages the use of GI practices.
- Identify GI gaps in the current stormwater manual and promote updates/amendments.
- Support regional stormwater coordination and project implementation.
- Identify opportunities for a dedicated funding stream to support regional coordination and implementation efforts.
- Encourage the VT Stormwater Program to require the use of GI practices before conventional treatment practices in permitting.
- State supports a recognizable GI program.
- Vermont supports GI Program with staffing.
- Provide a clear identity, mission and purpose for the GI Program.
- Establish an advisory board to the GI Program.
- Identify existing programs / initiatives that the GI Program can be integrated into.
- Develop relationships / partnerships to sustain the GI Program.
- State Agencies serve as role model for GI.
- Identify state agency liaisons to champion efforts internally.
- Draft an Executive Order or legislative language requiring all State development projects use GI practices.
- Support development of technical guidance for implementation of GI practices on state projects.