February 01, 2012
A series of public comment meetings will be held in February and March to gather comments on the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ Draft Basin 8 Water Quality Management Plan covering the Winooski River watershed.
The public is invited to attend the meetings, hear a presentation on the plan and offer their comments and suggestions.
Meetings will take place from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in the following locations:
Fish and Wildlife Building
ANR Regional Office
111 West Street
Essex Junction, VT
City Council Chambers
Montpelier City Hall
39 Main St.
The Basin 8 water quality management plan provides an overview of the health of the basin and a description of the priority future and ongoing steps to restore and protect its surface waters. With the purpose of improving both water quality and aquatic habitat, this plan presents the recommendations of local watershed residents, stakeholders from varying interests, the Agency of Natural Resources and natural resource professionals from other state and federal agencies to guide protection and improvement efforts in this basin for the next five years. The central component of this water quality management plan is the implementation table, which includes 55 specific actions to address these threats to surface waters in the basin.
Basin 8 includes all the waters that flow to the Winooski River including the Stevens, Kingsbury, and North Branches and the Dog, Mad and Huntington Rivers as well as Sunderland, Muddy and Alder Brooks. The extensive network of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and wetlands in the Winooski Basin support many uses including swimming, boating and fishing. Impairments and threats to these uses in the basin include: sedimentation /siltation/turbidity, habitat alterations, nutrients, thermal modifications, flow alterations and metals as well as physical instability and river corridor encroachment.
The top ten priority strategies (unranked) in this management plan follow:
1. Implement steps to address the Bacterial TMDL for the Huntington and Mad Rivers and Allen Brook.
2. Complete stormwater system mapping and illicit discharge detection for Plainfield, Marshfield, Cabot, Berlin and Williamstown.
3. Work with towns that have not received a Better Backroad Grant to apply for funding to address road- related water quality problems.
4. Identify culvert replacement projects in Mad River watershed that will improve geomorphic stability of the stream as well as improve fish passage.
5. Promote existing programs such as CREP that provide incentives for fencing, watering tanks and other practices in targeted areas.
6. Work with towns to protect river corridors and promote flood resiliency by establishing Fluvial Erosion Hazard zones and buffer zones in local zoning.
7. Identify wetlands on agricultural lands for phosphorus retention, and in the river corridor for sediment attenuation, prioritize and conserve and/or restore.
8. Hold an annual Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIP) training to support the establishment of VIP programs for lakes and ponds in the basin.
9. Encourage use of rivers and lakes in the basin to increase people’s appreciation.
10. Assist towns to address aging wastewater treatment facilities and associated sewer pipes through the Clean Water Act Revolving State Funds and other funding programs.
Copies of the plan may be obtained on-line at http://www.vtwaterquality.org or by requesting a copy from the number below. The public comment period runs until March 23, 2012. Comments received by this date will be addressed in a responsiveness summary.
Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: February 01, 2012 12:18:31