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Water Investment Division

Introduction: The Water Investment Division coordinates investment of State and federal funding to all types of clean water and drinking water infrastructure in Vermont. 

Our vision is that Vermonters equitably benefit from clean water that provides for public health, safety, use, and enjoyment.

Our mission is to steward and sustain public investment in water resources and infrastructure by securing and targeting financial and technical assistance while ensuring transparency and accountability to the public and stakeholders.

To do this work, our Division values collaboration, adaptability, accountability, equity, communication, and respect.

Activities: The Division manages the State Revolving Loan Funds (SRF) including a large proportion of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment, for clean water and drinking water infrastructure.  The Division also manages all of the Department’s annual Clean Water Fund and Capital Fund appropriations that support water infrastructure throughout Vermont  The Division coordinates annual reporting for all of these 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 implements several American Rescue Plan Act-funded projects that support Vermonters. 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 Clean Water Initiative Program oversees grant program development and pollution tracking and reporting services.  As part of the Clean Water Service Delivery Act of 2019, CWIP has undertaken 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 Clean Water Reporting Framework 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 Watershed Planning Program provides planning services that integrate information from 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 to support clean surface water.  TBP staff also help to develop and oversee implementation of clean water projects. As part of the Division’s work on Act 76 of 2019, the program is responsible for assigning pollution reduction targets to clean water service providers.  The program also oversees the activities of these providers through the issuance of formula grants for water pollution control.

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 program 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.  This program also administers American Rescue Plan funding to support owners of properties subject to the "three-acre" stormwater rule.

The Design and Construction Program 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 engineers assist State Revolving Fund borrowers to comply with Federal requirements for the use of “SRF” funds.  This program also administers two large American Rescue Plan Act programs that support elimination of combined sewer overflow in Vermont's communities, and assist the design and construction of village-scale wastewater and drinking water systems.

The Agency Facilities Program 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 Dam Safety Program manages the Department’s State Dam Safety Program, which includes regulatory capacity as well as dam ownership responsibilities for nearly 100 Agency-owned dams including the three Winooski River Flood Control Dams. Dam Safety engineers and analysts also operate an annual dam registration program, an inspection program, and a permit program for construction, repair, alteration or removal of a jurisdictional dam.  The program also administers a small revolving loan fund that is available to owners whom are required to address an emergency unsafe dam declaration. The program 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.