When rain and snowmelt flows across rooftops, parking lots, streets, and driveways, it picks up pollutants and dumps them into our waters resulting in stormwater pollution. Farms that don’t have proper manure and sediment controls can also contribute to this problem. As it runs into rivers and ponds, this rain and snow melt picks up sediment, phosphorous, toxins, pathogens, oil, grease, and other pollutants that can severely pollute our waters. The Clean Water Act mandates cleanups of these waters, resulting in costly cleanup plans borne by the taxpayer. These cleanups can be avoided with proper controls and aggressive enforcement of those controls.
Indeed, dozens of streams in Vermont are so polluted that they do not meet basic minimum water quality standards that require that Vermont’s waters be fishable and swimmable, for example.
In general, VNRC believes Vermont needs to set policies so that developers and property owners share more of the cost of preventing and cleaning up the pollution they contribute instead of passing that cost onto taxpayers. Doing so will also keep our clean waters from becoming polluted and avoid costly clean up plans.