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Warning – Our Lake is Toxic
by Rebekah Weber

“Mixed condition. Watch and avoid cyanobacteria blooms.” This is the warning posted on the Vermont Department of Health’s website for Lake Champlain. When I read about beach closures, such as the one last Thursday at one of Burlington’s most popular beaches, I feel outraged, dumbfounded, horrified. How could we have let it get so far…

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Heavier Rains Are Coming – But Are Vermonters Ready?
by Rebekah Weber

It’s been a wet summer so far in Vermont. And, according to climate scientists, Vermonters should get used to it – more rainfall and even more intense storms are predicted as a result of our changing climate. But, just because we know what’s to come doesn’t mean Vermont is prepared to deal with it. To find…

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The Path to a Clean Lake Champlain is Still Unclear
by Rebekah Weber

While there’s still a long road ahead, CLF is cautiously optimistic about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new pollution limits for Lake Champlain. These new limits – also known as a Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL – dramatically reduce the amount of pollution allowed to enter the lake. The limits focus specifically on phosphorus…

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Vermont’s Water is Still Really Gross…
by Rebekah Weber

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…

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The Hidden Source of Water Pollution Underneath our Farm Fields
by Rebekah Weber

For the average New Englander, tile drainage is not a topic that’s going to keep you up at night. But in fact, this mundane-sounding subject is awash in controversy – and how that controversy gets resolved is vitally important to everyone who cares about clean water in our region. Tile drains are used by farmers…

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CLF Takes Another Major Step Towards a Cleaner Lake Champlain
by Rebekah Weber

Today marks the end of a two-year process CLF initiated to address farm runoff to Lake Champlain. Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross, has signed the revised decision that lays out the framework for farmers to implement Best Management Practices to help meet our clean water goals. The new program negotiated by the Agency of…

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New Study Links Toxin in Blue-Green Algae to Neurological Disease
by Chris Kilian

The serious health consequences of cyanobacteria – more commonly known as blue-green algae – have been recognized by health professionals for years. A study released Wednesday by the Royal Society of London is now linking exposure to blue-green algae outbreaks with deadly neurological diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. This breakthrough animal…

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The Status Quo Won’t Work for Vermont’s Waters
by Rebekah Weber

This past summer, there was significant attention paid to the gallons of sewage released into Vermont waterways from wastewater treatment facilities. To keep track of these overflow events, the VT Department of Environmental Conservation (the Department) has created a Waste Water Inventory that charts how much sewage is discharged from which facility on what day.…

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Can Cows, Manure, and Algae All Add Up to Clean Water? Lessons from Charlotte, Vermont
by Carolyn Dube

Innovation continues to thrive in the Green Mountain State. The Nordic Farm is looking at using algae to turn manure and other biological waste into fuel and fertilizer. The farm’s dairy barn is home to 300 cows. These ladies produce more than a ton of manure every day. That’s a lot of waste. Seventeen dairy…