Protecting Vermont's Water Quality

Protecting Vermont's water quality fish
On August 14, 2008, the Clinic filed a Petition on behalf of Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) asking EPA to withdraw Vermont’s authority to administer the Clean Water Act permitting program in Vermont. The Clean Water Act gives EPA the primary responsibility to implement its water pollution control mandates, but EPA may approve a state program in its stead where the state meets certain minimum requirements. Vermont applied for and received approval in 1974.

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.

Boat moared to dock on Vermont's watersIn 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.


Click here to read the law journal article about the nuts and bolts of the Petition.

Selected Filings & Correspondence

2008-08-14 CLF Petition

2008-10-21 CLF Petition Supplement

2008-10-23 CLF Response (without attachments)

2008-11-20 CLF Follow-up Letter (without attachments)

2009-01-08 CLF Supplementary Letter (without attachments)

2009-02-26 CLF Petition Letter (without attachments)

2009-11-24 EPA Letter

2010-01-08 EPA Letter

2010-03-03 CLF Letter to EPA

2010-07-21 CLF Update Supplement

2010-07-22 CLF Addendum to Supplement

2011-12-15 EPA Letter

2012-02-13 ANR Letter

2013-07-18 Region 1 Letter & Corrective Action Plan

2013-12-13 EPA Letter