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surface water management

Protecting Vermont’s Waters

Through the proposed Antidegradation Implementation Rule and proposed statutory changes, we are working to establish a more systematic, objective, and equitable process, based solely on their existing water quality, for reclassifying Vermont’s highest quality waters and for managing them to ensure their protection into the future. 


Antidegradation limits incremental lowering of water quality in lakes, rivers, and wetlands when applied during a permit review process. Any lowering of water quality must be found to be necessary to avoid substantial economic and social impacts. However, the surface water’s uses and values established in State law, such as swimming, boating, and fishing, must always be maintained and protected. Also included among those uses and values are the use of a surface water by fish, wildlife, and other living things, as well as the physical habitat that supports aquatic life. 

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