February 02, 2012
Today, the Agency of Natural Resources announced the approval of the Lake Memphremagog Tomifobia River and Coaticook River Basin (Basin 17) water quality management plan. This plan reflects years of work in the Northeast Kingdom to evaluate the health of the basin. Secretary Markowitz said, “I am proud of the work done over the past four years by our basin planner Ben Copans. His excellent work with the communities in the Northeast Kingdom who are part of these river basins has resulted in a plan that will allow Vermont to protect and improve the water quality in the area for years to come.”
The Basin 17 water quality management plan provides an overview of the health of the basin and a description of the priority future and ongoing steps to restore and protect the quality of its surface waters. Ben Copans said, “In this plan we focused both on improvement of water quality and also the health of the aquatic habitat that is vital to our fisheries. We could not have completed this work alone. I am pleased to report that this plan reflects the recommendations of local watershed groups, residents, a variety of stakeholders, the Agency of Natural Resources and natural resource professionals from other state and federal agencies.”
The central component of the water quality management plan is the implementation table, which includes 79 specific actions to address threats to surface waters in the basin. Examples of some of the priority actions in the plan include mapping stormwater systems in village centers in the basin and detecting illicit discharges, working with towns to apply for better back road grants and to include protections for fluvial erosion hazard zones and buffer zones in local zoning, and establishing an agricultural water quality group in the Lake Memphremagog region along with making contacts with farmers to promote agricultural programs that address water resource concerns.
Neil Kamman, program manager for the Monitoring Assessment and Planning Program said “This is the first of four plans the Agency will issue this spring, all of which reflect a transition to the new Tactical Basin Planning Process. In the coming weeks, citizens in most regions of Vermont will have opportunities to engage in the tactical planning process by providing input to draft plans and assisting with new plans. The Agency will be increasingly reliant on tactical basin plans to direct funding to the highest priority work that addresses stressors to our surface waters.”
The draft plan was released for public comment in November of 2011 and meetings were held on December first and fifth to receive public comment. Public comments have been addressed in a responsiveness summary – Appendix K of the plan. The final plan and appendix are available online at: http://www.vtwaterquality.org/ or by contacting Ben Copans at (802) 751-2610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: February 02, 2012 09:28:24