Coalition Calls on Vermont Legislators to Protect Water Quality

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Josh Block
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CLF says all Vermonters have a right to clean, safe water

March 20, 2017 (MONTPELIER, VT) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), along with a broad coalition of municipal, business, environmental, and farming organizations, submitted a letter today to the Vermont General Assembly urging legislators to act this year on water quality funding.

“Clean water is an absolute right for everyone who lives, works and plays in Vermont, yet we still have a long way to go in protecting this vital resource,” said CLF Lake Champlain Lakekeeper Rebekah Weber. “We’ve seen beach closures, lowered property values, business losses, and serious public health risks from the pollutants we allow into our waterways. The people of Vermont deserve better, and it’s time for our elected representatives to step up to the plate.”

Specifically, the letter calls on the General Assembly to take the following three actions.

  1. Enact the “bridge funding” of bonds and short-term revenue included in Governor Scott’s budget proposal totaling $50 million over the next two years.
  2. Establish a working group as recommended by the House Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife Committee to develop an equitable and effective long-term funding method that includes a representative from key stakeholders including farmers, businesses, environmental groups, and municipalities.
  3. Enact a simple per parcel fee to take effect in FY2020 as a backstop to provide surety that long-term water quality funding will go into effect once the “bridge funding” expires.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.