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DEC Takes Steps to Address Chloride in Colchester Stream

February 23, 2024

For Immediate Release – February 23, 2024 
Media Contact: 
Tim Clear, TMDL Coordinator 
Department of Environmental Conservation 
802 490-6135, 

DEC Takes Steps to Address Chloride in Colchester Stream

Montpelier, Vt. – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is taking the first step to address chloride pollution in the Sunnyside Brook in Colchester, Vermont by establishing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan. 

This small brook routinely exceeds critical levels of chloride, due to an influx of road salt and other contaminants. A TMDL will set the target for the highest amount of salt that can enter the stream while staying below critical levels of chloride. This will be the first TMDL established for chloride in Vermont. 

DEC will hold a public meeting about the TMDL plan for Sunnyside Brook. Members of the public are welcome to attend in person or remotely. 

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, from 10:30 to 12:00
Location: Colchester Meeting House, 830 Main St., Colchester, VT
Remote Attendance: Join online through Microsoft Teams, or call in at 802-828-7667 using Phone Conference ID 816 951 376#.  

Public comments can be submitted by Wednesday March 27, 2024, to or by regular mail to Department of Environmental Conservation, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 3, Montpelier, VT 05620-3522. Following the public comment period, a responsiveness summary will be developed and the draft TMDL will be sent to EPA Region 1 for approval.

“Rising chloride levels pose a threat to the long-term health of our waterways,” said DEC Commissioner Jason Batchelder. “Our department is committed to supporting efforts that reduce excess salt use in a way that protects both public safety and our environment.”

Across Vermont, chloride has been found to persist in water bodies – raising concerns about the long-term impacts of chloride pollution. Studies have shown that excess chloride can harm aquatic life and disrupt ecosystems. The Department of Environmental Conservation will continue to monitor the problem, take necessary regulatory action, and support a multi-faceted approach to address chloride pollution in coordination with stakeholders. 

Please contact Tim Clear with questions at 802 490-6135 or; if Tim is not available contact Chip Gianfagna at 802-490-6174 or


The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.

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