Restoring Lake Champlain

A view of Lake Champlain with mountains in background

Vermonters love Lake Champlain.  We depend on the lake for fishing, swimming, boating, and other recreational pursuits.  It provides drinking water. Summer tourism and property values are tied to its health and beauty. The lake attracts businesses with a workforce that appreciates the lake’s natural beauty and Vermont’s working landscape.

The challenge is that too much pollution - runoff from rainwater or snowmelt that drains off of parking lots, roads and streets, logging roads, farm fields and croplands, and lawns is reaching Lake Champlain from the streams and rivers draining into it.  Phosphorus is one of the nutrient pollutants found in runoff and arguably the greatest threat to clean water in Lake Champlain. Too much phosphorus pollution stimulates excessive growth of algae. It can turn Lake Champlain water green, and even can be toxic to pets and people.

In June 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new phosphorus pollution limits for Lake Champlain by establishing TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Load) for twelve Vermont segments of Lake Champlain. The State of Vermont is seeking public input on the Draft Lake Champlain TMDLs Phase 1 Implementation Plan, which provides the framework for how these phosphorus pollution limits will be met.  

Final Phase 1 Implementation Plan

Final Lake Champlain TMDLs Phase 1 Implementation Plan
Final Phase 1 Implementation Plan Appendices
Summary of Responses to Public Comments (Expected October 1st)

Draft Phase 1 Implementation Plan Public Notice and Comment

Draft Lake Champlain TMDLs Phase 1 Implementation Plan
Phase 1 Implementation Plan Appendices
Summary of Modifications

Email comments to anr.cleanwatervt@vermont.gov August 8th - September 7th, or mail to:

Attention: Clean Water Initiative Program
Watershed Management Division
1 National Life Drive, Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3522

Please note: Mailed comments must be received by September 7th.

The State of Vermont will be hosting public informational meetings on the Phase 1 Implementation Plan.  Dates, times, and locations are posted on the DEC Calendar.

Additional details on the full process can be seen in the Lake Champlain Restoration Plan timeline.  Also, the Timeline of Statutory and Phase 1 Implementation Plan Deliverables provides additional details on progress to date. 

Phase 1 Implementation Plan Public Informational Meeting Materials (New!)

Presentation
Supporting Materials

Additional Resources

Lake Champlain TMDL Implementation and Wastewater Treatment Plants - Frequently Asked Questions
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet for Municipalities 
Memorandum Of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation on the Management of Lake Champlain
EPA TMDL Presentation at August 2015 Public Meetings 
EPA TMDL Presentation at November 2014 Public Meetings 
long view of Lake Champlain with clouds reflected in water

August 2015 Draft Proposal

DRAFT EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Vermont Phase 1 Plan
DRAFT EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Vermont Phase 1 Appendices
View Submitted Comments on Vermont Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Phase 1 Implementation Plan
Governor's Commitment Letter to EPA
Phase 1 - Lake Champlain TMDL Implementation Plan 
EPA Response Letter 
DRAFT EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Vermont Phase 1 Plan

November 2013 Draft Proposal

Draft State of Vermont Proposal for a Clean Lake Champlain
EPA Final Signed Letter to Vermont DEC on the Draft State of Vermont Proposal for a Clean Lake Champlain
EPA Supplemental Letter to Vermont DEC and Vermont AAFM 
View submitted comments on the Draft Proposal
Final Summary of Public Comments - Draft Champlain TMDL
 "Where Does the Phosphorus Come From?"

2002 Lake Champlain TMDL

Progress in Establishing and Implementing the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Plan for Lake Champlain
2010 Revised Implementation Plan Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL