Stronger Water Quality Standards Needed for Farms
This June Vermonters can contribute to the ongoing efforts to clean up the state’s waters by submitted public comments on proposed rules to addressing water quality on farms. As a result of passing the Clean Water Act last year – a bill VNRC strongly advocated for – the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Farms and Markets (AAFM) was tasked with updating Vermont’s rules that regulate the impact of farms on rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Recently, AAFM filed proposed changes, which are open to public comment through July 7th. Comments can be delivered in person at any of five public hearings scheduled throughout the state in June, or by emailing the Agency of Agriculture.
VNRC feels the proposed updates don’t go far enough to strengthen water quality standards for Vermont farms and encourage people to attend one of the five public hearings to push for a stronger proposal. “The riparian buffer provisions of the rule are extremely lenient, as are the rules related to keeping animals out of public trust waters,” noted VNRC’s Jon Groveman. “The message must be sent loud and clear that if we are going to keep our waters clean and restore Lake Champlain we are going to need a much more robust proposal from AAFM,” said Groveman.
Information on the rules and public hearings can be found here. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions and stay tuned for additional information about efforts to strengthen the proposal as we get closer to the first public hearing.