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Water Quality

Green Infrastructure Toolkit
Information useful to Vermont municipalities to explore how to promote the adoption of Green Infrastructure policies and practices to combat the problems caused by urban, suburban and rural stormwater runoff. To learn more click here.

Water Resources Planning
NRPC continues to be active in watershed planning and river management activities. NRPC served on the Lamoille and Missisquoi Watershed Councils and worked with local groups implementing watershed activities, including the Friends of Missisquoi Bay and the Missisquoi River Basin Association. Under contract with Vermont DEC, NRPC completed geomorphic assessments and began project development on Hungerford Brook, Mill River and Rock River, and will be developing implementation projects in the Missisquoi watershed. Also, NRPC worked on a watershed placemat that will be distributed throughout the region.

NRPC took an active role in commenting on the proposed rules to implement universal state jurisdiction over water and wastewater. NRPC opposed the proposed exemption for seasonal conversion, among other issues. NRPC continues to provide assistance to communities to develop regulations that dovetail with state jurisdiction. NRPC was invited to participate in the State’s Stormwater Advisory Group (SWAG). The SWAG was established to aid the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources in developing stormwater TMDL’s (total maximum daily loads) and implementation plans for Vermont’s stormwater impaired waters, including Stevens and Rugg Brooks in St. Albans. Other members of the SWAG include representatives from local, state, and federal governments, engineering firms, environmental groups, and other interested parties.

Act 64 - Vermont's Clean Water Act
Act 64, passed in 2015, is commonly known as Vermont's Clean Water Act. The bill requires changes to stormwater, forestry, agricultural and road maintenance practices in order to improve the quality of surface water in Vermont. The Lake Champlain TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) is a plan developed under federal clean water laws to set guidelines for phosphorus reduction in the Lake Champlain Basin. Together, the Lake Champlain TMDL and Act 64 will require changes to how municipalities, farmers and property owners manage stormwater run off and land development. To view a power point presentation on Act 64 click here.

River Analysis and Geomorphic Assessment
A geomorphic assessment gathers scientifically sound information that can be used for watershed planning and detailed characterization of aquatic habitat, erosion and flood hazards. Priority reaches can then be targeted for riparian restoration or protection. NRPC previously completed Phase I Geomorphic Assessments of the Missisquoi, Black Creek, Trout, Rock, and Pike River, watersheds within Franklin County and the Mudd Creek and Upper Missisquoi watersheds in Orleans County. The study area covered over 620 square miles and almost 1200 stream segments or reaches were assessed. NRPC is now working on a Phase I Geomorphic Assessment of the Missisquoi and Mudd Creek watersheds within Orleans County.

In 2007, the NRPC completed Phase 2 Assessment on over 40 stream reaches within the towns of Georgia and Highgate as part of a Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant with FEMA. This data was used to map and plan for fluvial erosion hazards (FEH). In FY 08, the NRPC completed Phase 2 Assessments on 20 stream reaches within the towns of Enosburgh and Bakersfield with funding from the Vermont River Management Program. This data will also be used to create FEH maps and the NRPC will work closely with the participating communities to incorporate this information into land use, emergency and community facility planning.

The Shoreline Stabilization Handbook
Since completing “The Shoreline Stabilization Handbook” in 2004 the NRPC has continued to provide public outreach and education to area residents, government officials, and their consultants interested in reducing shoreline erosion in the Lake Champlain Basin. In FY 08, the NRPC developed and implemented a shoreline stabilization workshop that provides attendees with an introduction to the causes of erosion and the variety of stabilization techniques that can be used to address these issues. With a Vermont Watershed Grant, the NRPC was able to offer three workshops targeting homeowners along Lake Champlain. The NRPC also continued to develop and plan three demonstration stabilization projects located in Isle La Motte, Ferrisburgh, and Burlington. These projects will serve as demonstration sites for bio-engineering and bio-technical erosion control methods.

Stevens and Rugg Brooks Watershed Plan
The NRPC continues to work with local, state, regional and federal partners to implement the recommendations of the 2003 Stevens and Rugg Watershed Report. In 2005 NRPC received a grant from the US EPA to assist in this effort. These funds have been used to support geomorphic assessments of several portions of Stevens and Rugg Brook, urban stream restoration projects, installation and maintenance of a stream gage on Stevens Brook, demonstrations of Low Impact Development practices, installation of rural riparian buffers, outreach and education activities, and support of the Intervale Conservation Nursery, which works to provide native trees and shrubs for watershed conservation. In FY 08, the NRPC provided project management and funding assistance to the City of St. Albans in constructing a porous concrete sidewalk in Taylor Park. The NRPC also worked closely with UVM Extension to plan and install ten rain gardens throughout the City and, with assistance from BFA-St. Albans and the St. Albans Watershed Association, distributed 60 rain barrels throughout the Stevens and Rugg Watershed. The NRPC has also provided funding to the Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation to improve an existing stormwater swale and to design and construct a new stormwater pond at the St. Albans Town Industrial Park. The EPA grant has also been used to fund education and outreach programs including a workshop for engineers, and will be used to support a stormwater utility feasibility study for the City and Town of St. Albans.

For more information on water quality, please contact Catherine Dimitruk, 802-524-5958, cdimitruk@nrpcvt.com.