Groundwater Protection, Management and Coordination
The Vermont legislature created Chapter 48 to set up a comprehensive groundwater management program and put groundwater in trust for the public now and for future generations. The three main components are:
- Information or the science and mapping of groundwater resources including the location and movement of groundwater, its use, contamination, remediation and protection.
- Regulation: classifying types of groundwater, developing and implementing rules that govern or permit activities that may impact groundwater.
- Communication or outreach to provide help and guidance to towns, municipalities and the public through partnerships with EPA, USGS, VGS, VRWA and other groups to encourage and support protecting groundwater resources.
A) improve information available for GW management decisions,
B) protect public health and safety and the environment, and
C) expand communications.
Each of these objectives has specific tasks that are tracked and modified as needed over a 5-year running cycle as part of an implementation plan. The members of the Groundwater Coordinating Committee provide invaluable assistance in developing and revising this management plan.
The Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy was revised and adopted on July 6, 2019. The purpose of this Rule and Strategy is to establish:
- classes of groundwater;
- a process for groundwater reclassification;
- a set of standards for groundwater quality protection; and
- incorporate a process into DEC regulatory programs to ensure that activities that present a potential threat to groundwater are designed, managed, and permitted to protect groundwater resources
- Chapter 12 - Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy - effective July 6, 2019
Historic Rule Versions
- Chapter 12 - Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy - effective January 8, 2019 (emergency rule)
- Chapter 12 - Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy - effective July 11, 2018 (emergency rule)
- Chapter 12 - Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy - effective December 12, 2016
- Interim Groundwater Quality Standards - effective March 18, 2015
- Interim Procedure for Implementation of Groundwater Public Trust - effective July 20, 2011
- Chapter 12 - Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy - effective February 14, 2005
Groundwater Coordinating Committee
It is the policy of the state that the groundwater resources of the state are held in trust for the public. The state shall manage its groundwater resources for the benefit of citizens who hold and share rights in such waters.
The Vermont Groundwater Coordinating Committee (GWCC) was established by the General Assembly as part of a developing comprehensive groundwater management program to protect the quality of groundwater resources. The secretary established the GWCC with representation from the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Forests, Parks and Recreation, and Health to provide advice in the development of the program and its implementation. In carrying out his or her duties the secretary gives due consideration to the recommendations of the Groundwater Coordinating Committee. The secretary may request representatives of other agencies and the private sector to serve on the groundwater coordinating committee.
Statutory responsibility of the GWCC is in Title 10, Chapter 48 §1392.
GWCC Meeting Minutes
2019-04-18 - Introduction to the GWCC and Private Well Workgroup by Sille Larsen, VDH
2019-04-18 - Water Testing Logistics by Sille Larsen, VDH
2019-04-18 - Results, Interpretation and Data Use by Sille Larsen, VDH
2019-04-18 - Man-made Chemicals; What, Where and How by John Schmeltzer, DEC
2019-04-18 - Water Treatment by Everett Windover, Culligan
- Brandon FD #1: Findings of Fact & Reclassification Order Report
- General Electric 210 Columbian Avenue Facility Rutland - Groundwater Reclassification
- Chapter 12 - Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy - effective July 11, 2018