The Petition and follow-up documents detailed the six primary areas in which Vermont was failing to meet its obligations under the Clean Water Act. It asked that EPA work with Vermont and the Agency of Natural Resources to bring Vermont’s program up to speed, and that EPA take over the program if necessary. In 2012, we reached a positive milestone when H.258 passed the Vermont legislature. This bill remedied one of the key deficiencies presented in the Petition—the lack of adequate public participation in administrative enforcement actions. The bill provided meaningful intervention rights and required ANR to provide notice and comment on settlements. Both CLF and ANR advocated for its passage.
In July 2013, after a series of collaborative discussions among CLF, ENRLC, EPA Region 1, and Vermont ANR, EPA Region 1 sent a Corrective Action Plan to the State. The Plan comprehensively addressed the key issues we raised in the Petition process and represented an important victory for clean water in Vermont. EPA plans to deny the Petition after Vermont addresses one outstanding issue regarding phosphorus limits and funding at wastewater treatment facilities in the State.