EPA Working With State On Lake Clean-up Plan

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(Host) The Environmental Protection Agency is working closely with the state to put together a new cleanup proposal for Lake Champlain.

Last month, the EPA rejected Vermont’s 9-year-old plan for reducing phosphorous pollution in the lake, saying it doesn’t meet federal regulations.

The Conservation Law Foundation had filed a lawsuit against the EPA, arguing that the phosphorus limits set by Vermont’s plan were not stringent enough, and that the effects of climate change were not factored in.

CLF vice president and director Chris Kilian explaines what the foundation expects from a new plan:

(Kilian) "We need to see significant improvements in pollution control at all source categories, whether it’s dairy farms or development activities. And certainly the direct discharge of phosphorous from sewage treatment plants have to be controlled."

(Host) David Mears is the new commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation.  He says a new plan doesn’t necessarily mean that big changes are imminent for farms and treatment plants.

(Mears) I don’t anticipate dramatic new regulations. In some ways, the issue is one of enforcement.

(Host) The EPA and the state are still in the beginning stages of developing a new plan to reduce pollution in the lake. Mears says that could take about a year.

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