Ottauquechee River and Black River Basin water quality management plan completed
Today, the Agency of Natural Resources announced the approval of the Ottauquechee River and Black River Basin (Basin 10) Water Quality Management Plan. This plan reflects years of work in the region to evaluate the health of the basin. Secretary Markowitz said, “I am proud of the work done over the past four years by our basin planner Marie Levesque Caduto. Her excellent work with the communities in the southeastern Vermont who are part of these river basins 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 10 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. Marie Levesque Caduto said, “This Plan is the culmination of a lot of community effort. Residents for throughout the two watersheds gave their time and knowledge to make this an action-oriented plan that the State and our community partners can implement by putting projects on the ground that improve our water quality and aquatic habitat.”
The central component of the water quality management plan is the implementation table, which includes 96 specific actions to address threats to surface waters in the basin. Examples of some of the priority actions in the plan include mapping river corridors with high erosion hazards, testing stormwater systems in village centers to detect and fix illicit pollution discharges, working with towns to apply for better back road grants and to include protections for fluvial erosion hazard zones and buffer zones in local zoning, and expanding agricultural water quality programs to equine farms in the region to address water resource concerns.
Neil Kamman, program manager for the Monitoring Assessment and Planning Program said “This is the second 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 in most regions of Vermont will have opportunities to engage in the tactical planning process by providing input to draft plans and assisting with new 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 February and meetings were held on February 27 and March 7 to receive public comment. Public comments have been addressed in a responsiveness summary – Appendix A.11 of the plan. The final plan and appendix are available online at: http://www.vtwaterquality.org/ or by contacting Marie Levesque Caduto, (802) 885-8958, Marie.Caduto@state.vt.us.