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Two Things: Veto Overrides and the State of the Lake

Two Things: A legislative update as the veto override session approaches, and the 2024 State of the Lake Report.

Stay informed, stay connected – two things.

Key Bills Head for Veto Override Votes Next Monday: Pollinators & Renewable Energy Standard

The Legislature will reconvene next week on June 17th to vote on whether or not to override the governor’s vetoes of two important environmental bills (it is uncertain whether the governor will veto a third bill, H.687, that would modernize Act 250). This will require a two-thirds majority of votes in support for the bill to be enacted. Here are the two bills we worked hard to help advance this session, which are now facing veto override votes next week:

  1. Modernizing Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard (H.289): This bill would put Vermont on track to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2035 across all the state’s utilities, and significantly increase the requirements for utilities to deploy new renewable energy built here in Vermont and in the region.
  2. Protecting Pollinators from Harmful Pesticides (H.706): This bill would phase out the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in Vermont. These harmful pesticides are applied to seeds that are widely used by farmers, despite research showing that they are contributing to pollinator loss and pose potential risks to public health.

Between now and then, it will be essential that legislators hear from their constituents about enacting these bills into law, so thank you for considering reaching out to your lawmakers and asking them to support protecting our pollinators and modernizing our Renewable Energy Standard!

2024 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report: An Update on the Condition of Lake Champlain

Just last week, the Lake Champlain Basin Program released the 2024 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report, which is produced every 3 years and highlights both successes and challenges related to water quality and ecosystem management in Lake Champlain. Climate change is a major issue, with the lake freezing less frequently and increased rain causing more erosion and nutrient loading, leading to cyanobacteria blooms. Positive trends include decreasing phosphorus levels in Missisquoi Bay since 2018, declining mercury levels in sport fish, and improved Atlantic salmon populations. New programs and multilingual outreach are also improving public engagement and lake management. If you are interested in learning more about the health and conditions of Lake Champlain, we highly recommend checking out the full report!