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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 049 : Protection of Navigable Waters and Shorelands

(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 1422)
  • § 1422. Definitions

    In this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

    (1) “Agency” means the Agency of Natural Resources.

    (2) “Board” means the Natural Resources Board.

    (3) “Department” means Department of Environmental Conservation.

    (4) “Navigable water” or “navigable waters” means Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog, the Connecticut River, all natural inland lakes within Vermont and all streams, ponds, flowages, and other waters within the territorial limits of Vermont, including the Vermont portion of boundary waters, that are boatable under the laws of this State.

    (5) “Public shorelands” means State-owned lands adjacent to navigable waters.

    (6) “Public waters” means navigable waters excepting those waters in private ponds and private preserves as set forth in sections 5204, 5205, 5206, and 5210 of this title.

    (7) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Natural Resources or the Secretary’s duly authorized representative.

    (8) “Shorelands” means the lands being between the normal mean water level of a lake, pond, or impoundment exceeding 20 acres and a line not less than 500 feet nor more than 1,000 feet from such mean water level.

    (9) “Outstanding resource waters” mean waters of the State designated by the Secretary as having exceptional natural, recreational, cultural, or scenic values.

    (10) “Buffer” means an undisturbed area consisting of trees, shrubs, ground cover plants, duff layer, and generally uneven ground surface that extends a specified distance horizontally across the surface of the land from the mean water level of an adjacent lake or from the top of the bank of an adjacent river or stream, as determined by the Secretary of Natural Resources.

    (11) “Lake” means a body of standing water, including a pond or a reservoir, that may have natural or artificial water level control. Private ponds as defined under section 5210 of this title, and reservoirs specifically constructed for the following purposes shall not be considered lakes: snowmaking storage, golf course irrigation, stormwater management, and fire suppression.

    (12) “River corridor” means the land area adjacent to a river that is required to accommodate the dimensions, slope, planform, and buffer of the naturally stable channel and that is necessary for the natural maintenance or natural restoration of dynamic equilibrium conditions and for minimization of fluvial erosion hazards, as delineated by the Agency of Natural Resources in accordance with river corridor protection procedures.

    (13) “River” means the full length and width, including the bed and banks, of any watercourse, including rivers, streams, creeks, brooks, and branches, which experience perennial flow. “River” does not mean constructed drainageways, including water bars, swales, and roadside ditches.

    (14) “Equilibrium condition” means the width, depth, meander pattern, and longitudinal slope of a stream channel that occurs when water flow, sediment, and woody debris are transported by the stream in such a manner that it generally maintains dimensions, pattern, and slope without unnaturally aggrading or degrading the channel bed elevation.

    (15) “Flood hazard area” shall have the same meaning as “area of special flood hazard” under 44 C.F.R. § 59.1.

    (16) “Fluvial erosion” means the erosion or scouring of riverbeds and banks during high flow conditions of a river.

    (17) “Geomorphic condition” means the degree of departure from the dimensions, pattern, and profile associated with a naturally stable channel representing the unique dynamic equilibrium condition of a river segment.

    (18) “Infrastructure” means public and private buildings, roads, and public works, including public and private buildings; State and municipal highways and roads; bridges; sidewalks and other traffic enhancements; culverts; private roads; public and private utility construction, State and municipal public works, cemeteries, and public parks and fields.

    (19) “River corridor protection area” means the area within a delineated river corridor subject to fluvial erosion that may occur as a river establishes and maintains the dimension, pattern, and profile associated with its dynamic equilibrium condition and that would represent a hazard to life, property, and infrastructure placed within the area.

    (20) “Sensitivity” means the potential of a river, given its inherent characteristics and present geomorphic conditions, to be subject to a high rate of fluvial erosion and other river channel adjustments, including erosion, deposit of sediment, and flooding. (Added 1969, No. 281 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1973, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1987, No. 67, § 2; 1987, No. 76, § 18; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 34, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2009, No. 110 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2011, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 8, 27, eff. May 14, 2012.)