We’re working on it.
Last year, Vermont passed a clean water law to help cut down on the pollution and erosion that harms our rivers and lakes. Its enactment is none too soon as the changing climate is only heightening our water woes with increased rainfall and rising temperatures.
This new law – Act 64 – sets requirements for agriculture and stormwater coming off parking lots, rooftops, and roads. The biggest job for the Agency of Agriculture is to update the statewide Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs). The RAPs are critical to protecting Vermont’s water resources because agriculture is one of the largest contributors of phosphorus pollution – the main culprit of the toxic cyanobacteria outbreaks plaguing Lake Champlain and other Vermont waters every year.
Unfortunately, the proposed RAPs don’t go far enough. They permit many activities known to cause phosphorus pollution, such as giving cows direct access to streams and allowing farmers to apply fertilizer and graze livestock next to riverbanks and in our floodplains. We have been working hard over the last several months to strengthen the RAPs as much as possible.
But, we need your help.
Save the Date! Join us for a Vigil for the Lake on June 21 in St. Albans. We will be gathering at 7:00pm at the St. Albans Bay Park to voice our frustrations with dirty water. Enough is enough. As the cyanobacteria outbreak season quickly approaches, it’s time to share how our water is hurting us.
To learn more about the RAPs, please click here.
To tell the Agency of Agriculture that we need stronger RAPs for Vermont’s waters, take action here.