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Three Things: PFAS Action, Clean Heat Standard Engagement, and Small Grants for Smart Growth

Three Things: Recapping recent action to address PFAS, sharing opportunities to weigh in on the Clean Heat Standard’s development, and inviting communities to apply for Small Grants for Smart Growth. 

Stay informed, connected, and engaged—three things.

PFAS Progress: Recent Federal and State Action to Protect Vermonters from Harmful Toxic Exposure

The past couple of weeks have brought huge progress in addressing harmful PFAS exposure. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the first-ever national drinking water standards to limit 6 compounds of these forever chemicals at a lower level than Vermont’s current standard – which means some drinking water systems that don’t meet the standards will now need to be cleaned up. The EPA also added two PFAS chemicals to the list of hazardous substances covered under the federal Superfund Law, requiring polluters to clean up contaminated sites.

Additionally, legislators in the Vermont House of Representatives voted to advance a bill (S.25) to ban PFAS and other toxic chemicals from personal care products and menstrual products, and to ban PFAS from apparel, cookware, artificial turf, and children’s products – another big step forward in protecting the health of Vermonters. It now heads to the Senate for concurrence or further amendment.

Weigh In to Help Shape the Development of Vermont’s Clean Heat Standard 

Last year, the Vermont Legislature enacted Act 18, which kicked off a process to develop a Clean Heat Standard to help Vermonters transition to cleaner fuels to heat their homes and businesses. The Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC) is now undertaking the process of designing this performance standard for Vermont’s thermal heating sector, which legislators in 2025 will need to consider before voting again to enact it into law. This is where you come in – the PUC needs to hear from you about the Clean Heat Standard to ensure Vermont is designing a program that works for everyone! Join a public input session on May 7th or June 6th and let the PUC know that we need cleaner heating sources to reduce carbon pollution and give Vermonters more affordable energy options.

Consider Applying or Helping Spread the Word: We’re Seeking Small Grants for Smart Growth Applications

VNRC’s Small Grants for Smart Growth grant program is now accepting applications for grants up to $2,500! These grants acknowledge that community leadership and small steps are essential for catalyzing change. Think creatively about how you can advance smart growth in your town, and consider applying today. Or, help us spread the word – these grants are available to support a broad range of creative community projects. A project could be a town or local group effort to promote downtown or village center revitalization and historic preservation; to develop a plan for better sidewalks or paths; to identify ways to support housing choice and affordability; or to plan on conserving land for agriculture or forestry.