Table of Contents
- 2016 Water Quality Standards Revisions Completed
- 2014 Water Quality Standards Amendment Approval
- Petitions and Petition Decisions
- Past UPW Decisions Listed by Year
- Past WRP Decisions Listed by Year
PDF of Vermont Regulations Pertaining to Water Quality
This pdf may not list all Vermont water resources related regulations.
Visit our Permits page for a list of activities that may require authorization.
In May 2012, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 138, which transfers certain rulemaking authority from the Water Resources Panel of the Vermont Natural Resources Board to the Agency of Natural Resources. The Agency is now responsible for rulemaking concerning the Vermont Water Quality Standards, Vermont Wetland Rules, Vermont Use of Public Water Rules, Vermont Surface Level Rules and the Vermont Rules Determining Mean Water Levels. Act 138 also transferred rulemaking authority to the Agency to designate Class I wetlands and Outstanding Resource Waters. These two designation processes provide enhanced protections for significant wetlands and waters. All of these rules will be administered and applied by the Watershed Management Division in its water-related permits programs.
As the successor of the Water Resources Panel’s rulemaking functions, the Agency will provide a forum for meaningful citizen involvement in the development of these rules. Act 138 specifically requires that the Agency engage in expanded public participation processes with affected stakeholders and other interested persons during rulemaking.
Until such time as the Agency develops its own procedures or rules to govern this new rulemaking authority, Act 138 provides that the rules of the Water Resources Panel issued pursuant to 10 V.S.A. §6025(d), as that statute and those rules existed prior to the enactment of Act 138, are deemed rules of the Agency. Persons wishing to petition the Agency for rulemaking should consult the Panel’s Rule of Procedures for direction on the petition process.
- Combined Sewer Overflow Rule: effective September 15, 2016
- Vermont Clean Water Act 64 summary and full bill (2015)
- NRB Rules of Procedure: effective May 1, 2006
- Vermont Water Quality Standards: effective October 30, 2014
- Vermont Water Quality Standards: effective January 15, 2017
- Vermont Wetland Rules: effective August 15, 2018
- Vermont Use of Public Water Rules: amended effective November 1, 2016
- Vermont Surface Level Rules
- Vermont Rules Determining Mean Water Levels: adopted December 30, 2011
- Vermont Stream Alteration Rule: effective March 10, 2017
- Vermont Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Rule: adopted October 24, 2014
- Vermont Stormwater Management Manual Rule: effective July 1, 2017
- Stormwater Permitting Rule: effective March 15, 2019
Recently Adopted Rules
All Terrain Vehicles on Ice-Covered Bodies of Public Water
Snowmobiling on State-Owned Lands
Use of Public Waters Rules
Vermont Stormwater Management Manual Rule - Effective 7/1/2017
Vermont Wetland Rules (Chapter 30)
Stormwater Permitting Rule (Chapter 22) - Effective 3/15/2019
Vermont Wetland Rules (Chapter 30)
Economic Impact Analysis
Environmental Impact Analysis
Public Input Statement
Scientific Information Statement
Vermont Wetland Rules (Amended text without annotation)
Vermont Wetland Rules (Annotated text marking changes from previous rule)
Vermont Wetland Rules Analysis and Supplemental Materials
In 2014, ANR completed the first major upgrade to the Standards in many years, by upgrading over 100 individual water quality criteria, fixing previously flawed E. coli criteria, and introducing the regions first nutrient criteria for phosphorus for inland lakes and rivers/streams (see below). These new Standards were adopted in October, 2014, and approved by USEPA in September, 2015. With these important technical changes complete, the Division is now engaging a second rulemaking process to address structural components of the Standards, to improve Vermont’s ability to protect, maintain, enhance, and restore surface waters. These proposed changes are intended to address two longstanding issues. The first issue regards the long-term challenges of implementing the “Water Management Types” component of the Standards. The second issue capitalizes on an opportunity presented by Act 64 of 2015, to revise the Antidegradation Policy within the Standards to obtain consistency with the Federal approach to antidegradation, while developing a companion Antidegradation Rule. Please see files and links immediately below for additional information on this process.
Comments on the proposed rule were accepted until September 7, 2016 and are posted below. The final proposed rule was approved by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules on November 18, 2016, and has been transmitted to the Secretary of State as a final adopted rule. The effective date for the new Water Quality Standards is January 15, 2017.
Final Adopted Rule, effective January 15, 2017:
Final Proposed Rule and Response Summary:
- Supplemental letter to Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules addressing inadvertently omitted footnote
- Final Proposed Rule (with markup)
- Final Proposed Rule (without markup)
- Response Summary
- Cover letter to Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules
- Final Proposed Rule Coversheet
- Secretary of State’s Acknowledgement - Final Proposed Rule
- Adopting Page
- Economic Impact Statement
- Public Input Statement
- Scientific Input Statement
- Conservation Law Foundation
- Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC)
- Public Hearing Verbal Comment Summary
- Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC)
- Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) and related organizations
- Vermont Rural Water Association
- Vermont Council of Trout Unlimited and Connecticut River Watershed Council
- MMR, LLC, and VHB Inc.
- FAQ – Fact Sheet & Question and Answer Document
- FAQ - Supplemental Q+A Regarding Antidegradation
- FAQ – Regulatory Implications for surface waters with uses designated to Class A(1)
- Initial Proposal to reclassify certain surface waters to Class A(1) in areas of the Green Mountain National Forest (Final proposal contained within proposed rule)
- Act 79
The USEPA recently approved the 2014 revisions to the Vermont Water Quality Standards. The new Standards are provided above. Documentation supporting the rule amendments is provided in the following.
- USEPA Approval Letter
- 2014 Water Quality Standards Fact Sheet
- Responsiveness Summary: addressing comments received and filed, including written comments filed and supporting nutrient criteria information.
Supplemental Nutrient Criteria Information:
- DEC letter addressing EPA comments 7/15/14
- VTDEC Nutrient Criteria Technical Support Document
- Deriving nutrient criteria to minimize false positive and false negative water use impairment determinations. (North American Lake Management Society’s technical paper of the year for 2016)
Biological criteria documentation
- Executive Summary: Biocriteria for Fish and Macroinvertebrate Assemblages in Vermont Wadeable Streams and Rivers - Development Phase
- Biocriteria for Fish and Macroinvertebrate Assemblages in Vermont Wadeable Streams and Rivers - Development Phase
- Biocriteria for Fish and Macroinvertebrate Assemblages in Vermont Wadeable Streams and Rivers - Implementation Phase
Information about Petitions and Petition Decisions has been moved to a new web page. Please click here to visit the Petitions and Petition Decisions page.
- Antidegradation Procedure
- Procedure for Evaluating Petitions to Reclassify Wadeable Rivers or Streams to Class a(1)
- Procedure for Evaluating Petitions to Adopt, Amend or Repeal Surface Water and Wetland Rules, November 2013
- Natural Resources Board Rules of Procedure (NRB ROP)
- Flood Hazard Area & River Corridor Protection Procedure: Act 250/Section 248 proceedings
- Water Quality Remediation Plan Procedure, July 2015
- Water Quality Remediation Plan Procedure – response to comment
- Vermont Wetlands Section Class II and Class III Determination Procedure
- Vermont Wetlands Rules Applicability to Roads Procedure: This document provides the Agency of Natural Resources' interpretation of how the Vermont Wetland Rules (VWR) applies to the construction, repair, maintenance or improvements of roads that are in wetlands or wetland buffer zones.
- Procedure for Existing Constructed Features: This procedure is intended to clarift how the Wetlands Program determines when a feature shall not be regulated as a wetland under the Vermont Wetland Rules (VWR) in accordance with §3.1(b) of the VWR.
- Procedure for Public Notice of Untreated Discharges and Unpermitted Discharges to Vermont's Surface Waters - In response Act 86, this procedure has been developed to outline the reporting and public notice of untreated and unpermitted discharges. This procedure defines the public notice, reporting, and signage requirements of wastewater treatment facilities in the event of an untreated discharge to waters of the State. In addition, this procedure defines the requirements of the Agency and sets forth a protocol for internal Agency coordination in the event of an unpermitted discharge to waters of the State, which may pose a threat to human health or the environment.
- Procedure for Determining Significant Non-Compliance for the Vermont WPC Permit Program
- Procedure for Designation of Regulated Small MS4s
- Engineering Feasibility Analysis Procedure
- Vermont ANR 1987 Stormwater Management Procedures
- Vermont ANR 1997 Stormwater Management Procedures
- Agency Procedure for Determining Acceptable Minimum Streamflows - Procedure used to determine minimum streamflows for all activities (water withdrawals and hydroelectric projects) except snowmaking, adopted July 14, 1993.
- Interim Procedures for Lake Encroachment Application Review