Water Investment Division

Introduction: The Water Investment Division coordinates investment of State and federal funding to all types of clean water and drinking water infrastrcuture in Vermont.  The Division manages the State Revolving Loan Funds (SRF) for clean water and drinking water infrastructure, and the Department’s proportion of annual Clean Water Fund and Capital Fund dollars that support water infrastructure throughout Vermont.  The Division coordinates annual reporting for all funds, publishing annual State Revolving Fund, Clean Water Investment, and Tactical Basin Planning Reports, and serves to integrate other agencies of State Government that also participate in clean water funding, such as Agency of Agriculture, Commerce and Community Development, and Transportation.  The Division provides project engineering and implementation services to the Agency for a variety of projects, including construction and maintenance of state park facilities, fish culture stations, access areas, and dams. The Division also operates the Dam Safety Program, which regulates non-power, non-federal dams and endeavors to protect public safety relative to dams.

The Agency Facilities Section provides engineering and project implementation services to the Agency’s three departments for a variety of construction and maintenance projects, including fish hatcheries, access areas, state park facilities, and dams.  The Agency Facilities Section maintains an active portfolio of projects providing sanitary and drinking water infrastructure, recreational access, roadway maintenance, agricultural engineering, and other project types.

The Clean Water Initiative Program oversees grant program development and pollution tracking and reporting services.  As part of Act 76, CWIP will be undertaking a substantial workplan to develop new grant programs and further refine tracking mechanisms for projects for which pollution reduction estimates are not yet available. CWIP staff also conduct certain project development functions. CWIP oversees the development of an information technology system known as the Watershed Projects database that provides public-facing information about clean water projects. CWIP engages across all agencies of State Government to compile and report clean water project efforts annually, and in partnership with the Agency of Natural Resources, provides support to the Clean Water Board.

The Dam Safety Section manages the Department’s State Dam Safety Program, which includes regulatory capacity as well as dam ownership responsibilities for 14 State owned dams including the three Winooski River Flood Control Dam. On the regulatory side, the section operates an annual dam registration program, an inspection program, a permit program for construction, repair, alteration or removal of a jurisdictional dam, and administers the Unsafe Dam Proceedings which includes a revolving loan fund. The section also maintains the Vermont Dam Inventory and provides dam safety information to dam owners and operators. The Dam Safety Program is presently engaged in implementing Act 161 of 2018, which requires the development of dam safety rules for the operation, maintenance, inspection, and design of dams.

The Design and Construction Section assists and directs municipalities through the planning and design phases for wastewater collection system and treatment facility construction or upgrade projects and for combined sewer overflow abatement projects and performs construction phase technical and administrative overview functions for water supply and pollution control facilities projects. The Design and Construction Section engineers assist State Revolving Fund borrowers to comply with Federal requirements for the use of “SRF” funds.

The Tactical Basin Planning and Pollution Accounting Program provides planning services that integrate information from Watershed Management Division regulatory and monitoring/assessment activities, and data and information from external organizations involved in clean water activities.  This Program publishes, through tactical basin plans (TBPs) and related IT systems, regulatory or protection and enhancement actions that the Agency will undertake, and water quality projects that partners will undertake.  TBP staff also conduct certain project development activities. As part of the Division’s work on Act 76 of 2019, the program will develop pollution accounting methodologies and will be responsible for assigning pollution reduction targets to clean water service providers.

The Water Infrastructure Finance Program processes water infrastructure grant and loan awards and payments for pollution control projects, drinking water projects, and non-point source projects. This section also manages many of the administrative and financial programmatic elements of the State Revolving Funds, Clean Water Fund, and Capital Funds, and provides technical assistance to loan and grant recipients to advance projects from the conceptual stage to construction. The Program also develops novel funding approaches for the use of the SRF loan fund, such as Water Infrastructure Sponsorship, bridge loans, and private clean water financing, as consistent with Act 185 of 2017.