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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 10 : Conservation and Development

Chapter 047 : Water Pollution Control

Subchapter 001 : Water Pollution Control

(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 1252)
  • § 1252. Classification of high quality waters; mixing zones

    (a) The State adopts, for the purposes of individually classifying the uses of its high quality waters, the following classes and definitions:

    Class A(1): Waters in a natural condition that have significant ecological value;

    Class A(2): Waters that are suitable for a public water source with filtration and disinfection or other required treatment; character uniformly excellent.

    Class B(1): Waters in which one or more uses are of demonstrably and consistently higher quality than Class B(2) waters; or

    Class B(2): Waters that are suitable for swimming and other primary contact recreation; irrigation and agricultural uses; aquatic biota and aquatic habitat; good aesthetic value; boating, fishing, and other recreational uses and suitable for public water source with filtration and disinfection or other required treatment.

    (b) The Secretary may establish mixing zones or waste management zones as necessary in the issuance of a permit in accordance with this section and criteria established by rule. Those waters authorized under this chapter, as of July 1, 1992, to receive the direct discharge of wastes that prior to treatment contained organisms pathogenic to human beings are designated waste management zones for those discharges. Those waters that as of July 1, 1992 are Class C waters into which no direct discharge of wastes that prior to treatment contained organisms pathogenic to human beings is authorized, shall become waste management zones for any municipality in which the waters are located that qualifies for a discharge permit under this chapter for those wastes prior to July 1, 1997.

    (c) Upon issuance or renewal of any discharge permit, subsequent to July 1, 1992, involving a discharge into a waste management zone created pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary shall adjust the size of the waste management zone to the extent necessary to accommodate the authorized discharge.

    (d) Prior to the initial authorization of a new waste management zone, except those created pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, or prior to the expansion of the size of an existing zone created under this section, in order to accommodate an increased discharge, the Secretary shall:

    (1) Prepare a draft permit which includes a description of the proposed waste management zone and proceed in accordance with subsections 7713(c), (d), and (e) of this title.

    (2) Give due consideration to the cumulative impact of overlapping waste management zones.

    (3) Determine that the creation or expansion of such a waste management zone is in the public interest after giving due consideration to the factors specified in subdivisions 1253(e)(1) through (10) of this title.

    (4) Determine that the creation or expansion of such a zone will not:

    (A) create a public health hazard; or

    (B) constitute a barrier to the passage or migration of fish or result in an undue adverse effect on fish, aquatic biota, or wildlife; or

    (C) interfere with those uses that have actually occurred on or after November 28, 1975, in or on a water body, whether or not the uses are included in the standard for classification of the particular water body; or

    (D) be inconsistent with the anti-degradation policy in the water quality standards.

    (5) Provide a written explanation with respect to subdivisions (2) through (4) of this subsection.

    (e) The Secretary shall adopt standards of water quality to achieve the purposes of the water classifications. Such standards shall be expressed in detailed water quality criteria, taking into account the available data and the effect of these criteria on existing activities, using as appropriate: (1) numerical values, (2) biological parameters; and (3) narrative descriptions. These standards shall establish limits for at least the following: alkalinity, ammonia, chlorine, fecal coliform, color, nitrates, oil and grease, dissolved oxygen, pH, phosphorus, temperature, all toxic substances for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established criteria values, and any other water quality parameters deemed necessary by the Board.

    (f) The Secretary may issue declaratory rulings regarding these standards.

    (g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 1259(c) of this title and rules implementing that subsection, the Secretary may issue a discharge permit pursuant to section 1263 of this title, for a municipal discharge of treated municipal waste into Class B waters, if that municipal discharge was established prior to January 1, 1974 and was, as of January 1, 1990, occurring pursuant to authorization contained in an assurance of discontinuance.

    (h) A discharge permit issued pursuant to subsection (g) of this section may not authorize an increase in mass pollutant loading beyond that contained in the assurance of discontinuance. (Amended 1961, No. 101; 1964, No. 37 (Sp. Sess.), § 3; 1967, No. 181, § 1, eff. April 17, 1967; 1973, No. 103, § 3, eff. April 24, 1973; 1981, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 25; 1985, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 17, 1986; 1989, No. 278 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1991, No. 211 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2011, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 21, eff. May 14, 2012; 2015, No. 79 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 28, 2016; 2015, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)