Laws, Regulations and Rules Pertaining to Water Quality

Table of Contents


Vermont Regulations Pertaining to Water Quality

PDF of Vermont Regulations Pertaining to Water Quality
This pdf may not list all Vermont water resources related regulations.
Visit our Permits page for a list of activities that may require authorization.


Rulemaking

In May 2012, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 138, which transfers certain rulemaking authority from the Water Resources Panel of the Vermont Natural Resources Board to the Agency of Natural Resources. The Agency is now responsible for rulemaking concerning the Vermont Water Quality Standards, Vermont Wetland Rules, Vermont Use of Public Water Rules, Vermont Surface Level Rules and the Vermont Rules Determining Mean Water Levels.  Act 138 also transferred rulemaking authority to the Agency to designate Class I wetlands and Outstanding Resource Waters. These two designation processes provide enhanced protections for significant wetlands and waters.  All of these rules will be administered and applied by the Watershed Management Division in its water-related permits programs.  

As the successor of the Water Resources Panel’s rulemaking functions, the Agency will provide a forum for meaningful citizen involvement in the development of these rules. Act 138 specifically requires that the Agency engage in expanded public participation processes with affected stakeholders and other interested persons during rulemaking.  

Until such time as the Agency develops its own procedures or rules to govern this new rulemaking authority, Act 138 provides that the rules of the Water Resources Panel issued pursuant to 10 V.S.A. §6025(d), as that statute and those rules existed prior to the enactment of Act 138, are deemed rules of the Agency.  Persons wishing to petition the Agency for rulemaking should consult the Panel’s Rule of Procedures for direction on the petition process. 

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Rules

Existing Rules

Recently Adopted Rules

All Terrain Vehicles on Ice-Covered Bodies of Public Water

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Coversheet
Use of All Terrain Vehicles on Ice-Covered Bodies of Public Water Rules

Snowmobiling on State-Owned Lands

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Coversheet
Snowmobiling on State-Owned Lands Rules

Use of Public Waters Rules

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Coversheet
Use of Public Waters Rules

Vermont Stormwater Management Manual Rule - Effective 7/1/2017

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Coversheet
Vermont Stormwater Management Manual Rule

Vermont Wetland Rules (Chapter 30)

Approval Letter
Adopting Page and Coversheet
Vermont Wetland Rules

Stormwater Management Rule (Chapter 18) - Effective 7/1/2017

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Coversheet
Stormwater Management Rule (Chapter 18)

Stormwater Management Rule for Stormwater-Impaired Waters (Chapter 22) - Effective 7/1/2017

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Coversheet
Stormwater Management Rule for Stormwater-Impaired Waters (Chapter 22)

Proposed Rule Changes

Vermont Stream Alteration Rule

Adopting Page
Economic Impact Statement
Coversheet
Public Input Statement
Scientific Information Statement
Annotated Vermont Stream Alteration Rule
Stream Alteration Rule

ll Terrain Vehicles on Ice-covered Water

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Economic Impact Statement
Coversheet
Public Input Statement
Scientific Information Statement
Annotated Rules for Use of All-Terrain Vehicles on Ice-Covered Bodies of Public Water
Rules for Use of All-Terrain Vehicles on Ice-Covered Bodies of Public Water

Snow Mobiling on State Lands

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Economic Impact Statement
Coversheet
Public Input Statement
Scientific Information Statement
Annotated Snowmobiling on State-Owned Land Rules
Snowmobiling on State-Owned Land Rules

Vermont Use of Public Water Rules

Approval Letter
Adopting Page
Economic Impact Statement
Coversheet
Public Input Statement
Scientific Information Statement
Annotated Vermont Use of Public Waters Rules
Vermont Use of Public Waters Rules

Proposed Rules

 


2016 Water Quality Standards Revisions Completed

In 2014, ANR completed the first major upgrade to the Standards in many years, by upgrading over 100 individual water quality criteria, fixing previously flawed E. coli criteria, and introducing the regions first nutrient criteria for phosphorus for inland lakes and rivers/streams (see below).  These new Standards were adopted in October, 2014, and approved by USEPA in September, 2015.  With these important technical changes complete, the Division is now engaging a second rulemaking process to address structural components of the Standards, to improve Vermont’s ability to protect, maintain, enhance, and restore surface waters.  These proposed changes are intended to address two longstanding issues.  The first issue regards the long-term challenges of implementing the “Water Management Types” component of the Standards.  The second issue capitalizes on an opportunity presented by Act 64 of 2015, to revise the Antidegradation Policy within the Standards to obtain consistency with the Federal approach to antidegradation, while developing a companion Antidegradation Rule.  Please see files and links immediately below for additional information on this process.  Comments on the proposed rule were accepted until 9/7/2016 and are posted below.  The final proposed rule was approved by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules on November 18, 2016, and has been transmitted to the Secretary of State as a final adopted rule.  The effective date for the new Water Quality Standards is December 15, 2016.

Final Adopted Rule, effective December 15, 2016:

Final Proposed Rule and Response Summary:

Comments Received:

Related Documents:


2014 Water Quality Standards Amendment Approval

The USEPA recently approved the 2014 revisions to the Vermont Water Quality Standards. The new Standards are provided above. Documentation supporting the rule amendments is provided in the following.

Supplemental Nutrient Criteria Information:

Biological criteria documentation

 

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Petitions

In 2012, pursuant to §§20 – 26 of Act 138, rulemaking authority and the consideration of petitions under this authority was transferred from the Water Resources Panel to the Agency of Natural Resources. The rules of the Panel are now deemed to be those of the Agency and will remain in effect until they are amended. Petitions currently under consideration are listed below. For all prior decisions made by the Agency or the Panel visit the Petition Decision webpage.
 

Use of Public Waters, Section 4.1 - Control of Aquatic Nuisance Infestations
Lake Dunmore
Filed on: March 23, 2015
Filed by: Lake Dunmore Fern Lake Association
Purpose: To temporarily close for more than 90 days several portions of Lake Dumore (totaling 19 acres) for the purpose of controlling an aquatic nuisance infestation (Eurasian watermilfoil)
Status: Under consideration

Petition, March 23, 2015 (PDF, 2.5 MB)
DEC Receipt Acknowledgement

Recently Closed

Use of Public Waters
Lake Iroquois
Filed on: April 30, 2015
Status: Withdrawn, November 10, 2016

Use of Public Waters, Section 4.1 - Control of Aquatic Nuisance Infestations
Shadow Lake
Filed on: April 22, 2014
Filed by: Shadow Lake Association
Purpose: To temporarily close a one acre portion of Shadow Lake for aquatic nuisance control
Decision made: Denied, December 19, 2014

Petition, April 22, 2014
Public Notice of Petition and Public Meeting Regarding Shadow Lake
Public Comments Part 1
Public Comments Part 2
Public Comments Part 3
Public Comments Part 4
Public Comments Part 5
Petition Support Signatures Part 6
Public Meeting July 23rd Comments
Decision

Use of Public Waters
Kenny Pond
Filed on: April 27, 2012
Filed by: Martha K. Palmer Trust/Martha Kinne Palmer Trust
Purpose: To remove Kenny Pond from the Vermont Use of Public Waters Rule list of public waters.
Status: Denied, April 2, 2014

Petition, April 27, 2012
Letter from NRB Counsel to Petitioner, May 23, 2012
Letter from NRB Counsel to Petitioner, June 22, 2012
Letter from Petitioner to NRB Counsel, July 27, 2012
Letter from NRB Counsel to Petitioner, August 3, 2012
Letter from DEC to Petitioner, December 26, 2012
Letter from Petitioner to DEC, January 11, 2013
Letter from Petitioner to DEC, January 18, 2013
Petitioner’s Kenny Pond Survey, January 18, 2013
Letter from DEC to Petitioner, February 1, 2013
Letter from Petitioner to DEC, February 4, 2013
Letter from DEC to Petitioner, February 21, 2013
Decision


Procedures

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Petition Decisions

The Natural Resources Board web site included past decisions issued by the Water Resources Panel and the former Water Resources Board and information about rules related to wetlands, lakes and other public waters in Vermont. Pursuant to §§20 – 26 of Act 138 (effective May 14, 2012), the rulemaking authority of the Water Resources Panel has been transferred to the Agency of Natural Resources. The rules of the Panel are now deemed to be the rules of the Agency and will remain in effect until amended by the Agency.

Decisions issued by the Agency are listed below:

BERLIN POND

  • Use of Public Waters - Petition filed July 25, 2013 by the City of Montpelier seeking the prohibition of internal combustion motors, including tools powered by internal combustion, the prohibition of the use or presence of petroleum-based fuels, and the prohibition of the use or presence of ice shanties on Berlin Pond.

Press Release
Decision
Fact Sheet Q & A
Petition, July 25, 2013
Map of Berlin Pond submitted with petition
Public Notice of Petition and Public Meeting Regarding Berlin Pond

  • Use of Public Waters - Petition filed February 6, 2014 by the Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond seeking the prohibition of recreational use of the surface waters of Berlin Pond.

Press Release
Decision
Fact Sheet Q & A
Petition, February 6, 2014
Letter from DEC to Petitioner, February 27, 2014
Public Notice of Petition and Public Meeting Regarding Berlin Pond
Public Comments Part 1
Public Comments Part 2
Public Comments Part 3
Public Comments Part 4
Public Comments Part 5
Audio of Public Meeting, May 27, 2014 (MP3, 83.4 MB)

WOLCOTT POND

  • Use of Public Waters - Petition filed February 22, 2013 by Friends of Wolcott Pond seeking the prohibition of internal combustion motors on Wolcott Pond.

Wolcott Pond Press Release, October 22, 2014
Decision
Fact Sheet Q&A
Petition, February 22, 2013
Letter from DEC to Petitioner, February 27, 2013
Letter from the Town of Wolcott Selectboard to DEC, April 3, 2013
Letter from Petitioner to DEC, April 24, 2013
Public Notice of Petition Received and Public Meeting for Wolcott Pond, July 11, 2013
Public Comments Part 1
Public Comments Part 2

WSMD - Watershed Management Home

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