March 17, 2020
This rule is intended to serve a number of purposes.
First, and most important, the rule's primary purpose is to regulate water systems in the state so
that they provide clean and safe drinking water to Vermont's citizens. This is true for the
smallest, single house source to the state's largest system. The rule also establishes well
construction standards (contained in Part 12 of Appendix A) which apply to every constructed
well in Vermont regardless of the type of facility it serves.
Second, by implementing this rule, Vermont qualifies to retain "primacy" for the Safe Drinking
Water Act from the federal US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Primacy means that
the state will administer the federal regulations that apply to all public water systems in the
country, instead of EPA. Without state regulations that are at least as strict as the federal ones,
Vermont may not administer the federal regulations.
We think having primacy represents an advantage to Vermont's water systems. The federal
regulations contain some optional provisions that permit exceptions to the regulations when
mitigating factors make it difficult or impossible to follow the regulation. Also, there are
situations where interpretations of the federal regulations can be made by states with primacy
that provide some benefit to the public water systems. EPA has stated that, in the event that they
have to administer their own rules in a state without primacy, they will not have the resources to
provide most of these permitted exceptions to the regulations.
Third, this document contains all of the state's major regulations concerning water systems in a
single document, which, in spite of its size, makes it easier for both the regulators and the
regulated community to carry out their respective roles. The Agency will bind the various parts
of the rule (discussed below) into smaller packages that make sense for the intended recipient.