The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 10 : Conservation and Development
Chapter 056 : PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 1676a)
§ 1676a. Permits; systems affecting farms; liability for contamination
(a) The Secretary shall issue a permit for a new source for a public water system only after making the findings required by subsection 1675(b) of this title. In addition, if the Secretary finds there are agricultural lands in the area that are likely to affect the proposed source but not likely to constitute a public health hazard, the Secretary shall require the applicant to certify in the permit that the proposed source will be abandoned, replaced, or treated if it becomes contaminated by agricultural activities conducted on the agricultural lands.
(b) The Secretary may require the permittee to monitor the area around the permitted source to obtain knowledge of potential contaminants. If contamination occurs, the Secretary shall make a determination whether the permittee shall abandon the contaminated source and use an alternative source or, if use of an alternative source is not feasible, treat the contaminated source. If the source is treated, the Secretary shall find that it has been properly treated according to applicable drinking water standards and that continued use of the source will not adversely affect the health and safety of the public.
(c) An owner or lessee of agricultural lands who alleges that the agricultural lands are within the area of a proposed new public water source may appeal a decision of the Secretary pursuant to section 1680 of this title.
(d) An owner or lessee of agricultural lands shall not be liable for personal injury or property damage resulting from contamination of a permitted water source so long as the owner or lessee was utilizing required agricultural practices at the time the water source was contaminated and so long as the lands were agricultural at the time the permit was issued.
(e) Nothing in this section shall prohibit an applicant from negotiating an agreement with an owner of agricultural lands or from using authority granted in any other provision of law to secure rights to the property in question. (Added 1991, No. 71, § 2; amended 2015, No. 64, § 13.)