(Host) The Dean administration has announced several proposals that are designed to improve the quality of water in the state’s rivers, lakes and streams. Natural Resources Secretary Scott Johnstone says the state has released four draft watershed permit plans, and the remaining 20 plans will be completed by the first of October. The plans detail all of the stormwater discharge permits that the state has issued in each watershed region.
Johnstone says the state plans to actively enforce its existing permits and it hopes to work with businesses that are willing to upgrade their current systems:
(Johnstone) “I think that the one area that really is within Vermont’s control is having clean water by and large. Other than acid deposition coming in from the Midwest, our waters are something we can keep clean and I think in a very short time frame from last fall to now we’re able to show you that it is in fact possible, that there are real concrete steps that we’re announcing today that get the job done and get it done pretty quickly.”
(Host) The Conservation Law Foundation has been an active critic of the state’s water quality programs. CLF has been involved in litigation to force the state to enforce its existing water quality laws.
CLF attorney Chris Killian says he’s cautiously optimistic that the state’s new plan will protect water quality throughout the state. The key to the plan, according to Killian, is the adoption of strict enforcement and monitoring.