ANR approves Otter Creek Basin water quality management plan
Today, the Agency of Natural Resources announced the approval of the Otter Creek Basin (Basin 3) water quality management plan. This plan reflects years of work in the Otter Creek Basin to evaluate the health of the surface waters. Secretary Markowitz said, “I am proud of the work done by our basin planner Ethan Swift. His excellent work with the communities in the Otter Creek Basin has resulted in a plan that will allow Vermont to protect and improve the water quality in the area for years to come.”
The Basin 3 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 the quality of its surface waters. Ethan Swift said, “This plan culminates years of combined efforts on behalf of not only ANR, but many important stakeholder groups. The cumulative actions already undertaken, or identified as priorities for ongoing work, reflect the important contributions of many citizens and citizen-based organizations, municipalities, and regional, state, and federal organizations.”
The central component of the water quality management plan is the implementation table, which includes specific actions to address threats to surface waters in the basin. Examples of some of the priority actions in the plan include implementing steps to address bacteria in the Lewis and Little Otter Creeks and Middlebury River; initiating or finalizing the mapping of stormwater systems and detection of illicit discharges in several municipalities; working with towns to apply for Better Backroad grants and to include protections for fluvial erosion hazard zones and buffer zones in local zoning; and making contacts with farmers to promote agricultural programs that address water resource concerns.
Neil Kamman, program manager for the Monitoring Assessment and Planning Program, said “This is the last of four plans the Agency will issue this spring, all of which reflect a transition to the new Tactical Basin Planning Process. In the coming weeks, citizens and organizations in most regions of Vermont will have opportunities to engage in the tactical planning process by working with our planners to develop new plans, and by implementing the recommendations of the newly released plans. The Agency will be increasingly reliant on tactical basin plans to direct funding to the highest priority work that addresses stressors to our surface waters.”
The draft plan was released for public comment in March of 2012 and two public meetings were to receive public comment. Public comments have been addressed in a responsiveness summary – Appendix H of the plan. The final plan and appendix are available online at: http://www.vtwaterquality.org/ or by contacting Ethan Swift, at 786-2503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vermont ANR 6.5.2012