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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 007 : Vermont Clean Water Fund

(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 1389)
  • § 1389. Clean Water Board

    (a) Creation.

    (1) There is created the Clean Water Board that shall:

    (A) be responsible and accountable for planning, coordinating, and financing of the remediation, improvement, and protection of the quality of State waters; and

    (B) recommend to the Secretary of Administration expenditures:

    (i) appropriations from the Clean Water Fund according to the priorities established under subsection (e) of this section; and

    (ii) water quality programs or projects that provide water quality benefits, reduce pollution, protect natural areas, enhance water quality protections on agricultural land, enhance flood and climate resilience, provide wildlife habitat, or promote and enhance outdoor recreation in support of rural community vitality to be funded by capital appropriations.

    (2) The Clean Water Board shall be attached to the Agency of Administration for administrative purposes.

    (b) Organization of the Board. The Clean Water Board shall be composed of:

    (1) the Secretary of Administration or designee;

    (2) the Secretary of Natural Resources or designee;

    (3) the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets or designee;

    (4) the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development or designee;

    (5) the Secretary of Transportation or designee; and

    (6) four members of the public, who are not legislators, with expertise in one or more of the following subject matters: public management, civil engineering, agriculture, ecology, wetlands, stormwater system management, forestry, transportation, law, banking, finance, and investment, to be appointed by the Governor.

    (c) Officers; committees; rules; compensation; term.

    (1) The Secretary of Administration shall serve as the Chair of the Board. The Clean Water Board may elect additional officers from its members, establish committees or subcommittees, and adopt procedural rules as necessary and appropriate to perform its work.

    (2) Members of the Board who are not employees of the State of Vermont and who are not otherwise compensated or reimbursed for their attendance shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement of expenses pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 1010 paid from the budget of the Agency of Administration for attendance of meetings of the Board.

    (3) Members who are appointed to the Clean Water Board shall be appointed for terms of four years, except initial appointments shall be made such that two members appointed by the Governor shall be appointed for a term of two years. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled for the remaining period of the term in the same manner as initial appointments.

    (d) Powers and duties of the Clean Water Board. The Clean Water Board shall have the following powers and authority:

    (1) The Clean Water Board shall recommend to the Secretary of Administration the appropriate allocation of funds from the Clean Water Fund for the purposes of developing the State budget required to be submitted to the General Assembly under 32 V.S.A. § 306. All recommendations from the Board should be intended to achieve the greatest water quality gain for the investment. The recommendations of the Clean Water Board shall be open to inspection and copying under the Public Records Act, and the Clean Water Board shall submit to the Senate Committees on Appropriations, on Finance, on Agriculture, and on Natural Resources and Energy and the House Committees on Appropriations, on Ways and Means, on Agriculture and Forestry, and on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife a copy of any recommendations provided to the Governor.

    (2) The Clean Water Board may pursue and accept grants, gifts, donations, or other funding from any public or private source and may administer such grants, gifts, donations, or funding consistent with the terms of the grant, gift, or donation.

    (3) The Clean Water Board shall:

    (A) develop an annual revenue estimate and proposed budget for the Clean Water Fund;

    (B) establish measures for determining progress and effectiveness of expenditures for clean water restoration efforts;

    (C) if the Board determines that there are insufficient funds in the Clean Water Fund to issue all grants or financing required by sections 925-928 of this title, conduct all of the following:

    (i) Direct the Secretary of Natural Resources to prioritize the work needed in every basin, adjust pollution allocations assigned to clean water service providers, and issue grants based on available funding.

    (ii) Make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on additional revenue to address unmet needs.

    (iii) Notify the Secretary of Natural Resources that there are insufficient funds in the Fund. The Secretary of Natural Resources shall consider additional regulatory controls to address water quality improvements that could not be funded.

    (D) issue the annual Clean Water Investment Report required under section 1389a of this title;

    (E) solicit, consult with, and accept public comment from organizations interested in improving water quality in Vermont regarding recommendations under this subsection (d) for the allocation of funds from the Clean Water Fund; and

    (F) recommend capital appropriations for the permanent protection of land and waters from future development through conservation and water quality projects.

    (e) Priorities. In making recommendations under subsection (d) of this section regarding the appropriate allocation of funds from the Clean Water Fund, the Board shall prioritize as follows:

    (1) As a first priority, make recommendations regarding funding for the following grants and programs, which shall each be given equal priority:

    (A) grants to clean water service providers to fund the reasonable costs associated with the inspection, verification, operation, and maintenance of clean water projects in a basin;

    (B) the Water Quality Restoration Formula Grant under section 925 of this title;

    (C) the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets’ agricultural water quality programs; and

    (D) the Water Quality Enhancement Grants under section 926 of this title at a funding level of at least 20 percent of the annual balance of the Clean Water Fund, provided that the maximum amount recommended under this subdivision (D) in any year shall not exceed $5,000,000.00; and

    (E) funding to partners for basin planning, basin water quality council participation, education, and outreach as provided in subdivision 1253(d)(3) of this title, provided funding shall be at least $500,000.00.

    (2) As the next priority after reviewing funding requests for programs identified under subdivision (1) of this subsection:

    (A) funding to programs or projects that address or repair riparian conditions that increase the risk of flooding or pose a threat to life or property;

    (B) funding for education and outreach regarding the implementation of water quality requirements, including funding for education, outreach, demonstration, and access to tools for the implementation of the Acceptable Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont, as adopted by the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation;

    (C) funding for the Municipal Stormwater Implementation Grant as provided in section 928 of this title;

    (D) funding for innovative or alternative technologies or practices designed to improve water quality or reduce sources of pollution to surface waters, including funding for innovative nutrient removal technologies and community-based methane digesters that utilize manure, wastewater, and food residuals to produce energy; and

    (E) funding to purchase agricultural land in order to take that land out of practice when the State water quality requirements cannot be remediated through agricultural Best Management Practices.

    (3) As the next priority after reviewing funding requests under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, funding for the Developed Lands Implementation Grant Program as provided in section 927 of this title.

    (f) Assistance. The Clean Water Board shall have the administrative, technical, and legal assistance of the Agency of Administration, the Agency of Natural Resources, the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Agency of Transportation, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development for those issues or services within the jurisdiction of the respective agency. The cost of the services provided by agency staff shall be paid from the budget of the agency providing the staff services. (Added 2015, No. 64, § 37, eff. June 16, 2015; amended 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 33, eff. June 2, 2016; 2017, No. 74, § 16a; 2017, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 22, 2018; 2019, No. 76, § 4.)