The Clean Water Service Delivery Act

 


Act 76 of 2019

This page provides information on Vermont’s new Clean Water Service Delivery Act of 2019.   Act 76 of 2019 establishes a water quality project delivery framework to support Vermont’s clean water goals.  In addition to securing a new long-term funding source for the Clean Water Fund, three of the most fundamental aspects of this law are:

Provides assurances to meet non-regulatory targets: Act 76 prioritizes program delivery and funds for non-regulatory projects. Non-regulatory projects include sub-jurisdictional stormwater management practices and natural resource restoration projects such as floodplain reconnections, wetlands restoration, forestland best management practices, and forested riparian buffer restoration. While not required through existing regulatory programs, these projects are essential to achieve the water quality goals spelled out in the Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog TMDLs.

Establishes interim phosphorus reduction targets: Act 76 requires formula dispersal of funds for non-regulatory projects in the Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog basins. Formula is based on interim phosphorus reduction targets and a standard cost per unit phosphorus reduced, consistent with “pay for performance” models.

Clean Water Service Providers: Act 76 establishes new regional organizations called clean water service providers (CWSP). CWSPs will be established for each Tactical Basin Planning watershed in the Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog basins. CWSPs are responsible for partnering with Basin Water Quality Councils to identify, implement, operate, and maintain non-regulatory projects to meet non-regulatory interim phosphorus reduction targets.

For more information, see: 


The Clean Water Service Provider Rule

The Act requires that the Agency assign, by rule, entities that will serve as Clean Water Service Providers, by November 1, 2020. The Water Investment Division of DEC is leading this effort, on the following timeline:

Task Due Date
Stakeholder Outreach Meeting - Level Setting on Act 76 09/01/2019
Individual Stakeholder Group Meetings 10/15/2019
Issue frequently asked questions and Convene Stakeholder Group 11/01/2019
Develop criteria and desired qualifications for Clean Water Service Provider 12/01/2019
Develop proposed Governance 12/01/2019
Issue Request for Qualifications or Proposals providing criteria for evaluation 01/01/2020
Outline and initiate drafting of rule language 04/01/2020
Pre-rulemaking outreach meetings (northern and southern sections of Lake Champlain basin and Lake Memphremagog basin, Other Basins where organizations have proposed early establishment of CWSP) 05/01/2020
Final draft and propose to Secretary of State for Agency Evaluation 06/01/2020
Public Comment Period 07/01/2020
Responsiveness Summary 09/10/2020
Submission to the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules 09/25/2020
Final Adoption 11/01/2020

Want to Engage?

Water Investment Division staff are available to meet with organizations interested in the rulemaking process, and in serving as Clean Water Service Providers. Contact Neil Kamman. The Division has established a stakeholder working group to guide the development of the Rule.


Establishing the Clean Water Service Provider Network

On Feb. 3rd, the Water Investment Division issued an RFP soliciting Clean Water Service Providers for the Lake Champlain and Memphremagog Basins. The RFP was developed in consultation with the Advisory Committee and was issued as a draft for public comment.  The RFP will be open until May 8th. The Division will respond to questions in writing that are submitted before April 16th.  Parties interested in serving as CWSP can request participation by Water Investment Division staff at watershed-based meetings,  for the purpose of better understanding the attributes of Act 76.


Guidance Documents 

In parallel with the rule, Water Investment Division staff are working on Water Quality Restoration Formula Grants guidance for Clean Water Service Providers on the following items. Information and progress updates will be posted here, and the list below will expand over time.

  • Roles and Responsibilities of Clean Water Service Providers and their Basin Water Quality Councils  (Coming Soon)
  • Operations and Maintenance Costs and Practices, and Design Life Considerations for Water Quality Projects  (Coming Soon)
  • Standard Cost Factors for Water Quality Projects  (Coming Soon)