(Host) The Circumferential Highway in Chittenden County now has gained a key pollution permit. The state Agency of Natural Resources granted a stormwater permit that requires the Transportation Agency to manage the runoff from a new, four-mile section of road in Williston.
Rich Ranaldo is the project director. He says the state hopes to break ground this fall:
(Ranaldo) “The permit and the conditions that are part of the permit provide for a very specific approach for us to mitigate and reduce and in fact in totally eliminate discharges into the Allen Brook.”
(Host) An environmental group has promised to appeal the permit. Mark Sinclair of the Conservation Law Foundation says the permit violates water quality laws. He says the Agency of Natural Resources has set tougher standards for private developers than it has imposed on the Agency of Transportation:
(Sinclair) “The idea that they’ve issue a permit for the Circ Highway with no meaningful stormwater controls. At the same time they’ve announced tougher restrictions on private developers. It’s hypocritical and inconsistent to say the least.”
(Host) Ranaldo of the Transportation Agency says that may further delay the construction schedule. The project was originally supposed to break ground this spring.
The 16-mile highway is intended to relieve congestion in Essex and Williston.