In May 2018, the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC) formed a Clean Water Advisory Committee, or CWAC. The purpose of the CWAC is to oversee the CVRPC’s water quality planning program, to act as a liaison between local communities and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), to provide local and regional input regarding water quality issues important to the region, and to guide CVRPC staff on grant development for projects. CVRPC is lucky to have so many insightful members on the CWAC who come from a variety of backgrounds including municipal government and planning, hydrology, geology, conservation, and watershed groups including the Friends of the Winooski River and the Friends of the Mad River. These CWAC members bring extensive knowledge in water quality issues and needs within the region, which has been invaluable to the CVRPC and the ANR. Vermont municipalities and organizations represented on the CWAC include the Agency of Natural Resources, Friends of the Winooski River, Friends of the Mad River, Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District, Cabot, Calais, Middlesex, Montpelier, Moretown, Northfield, Woodbury, and Worcester.
In its first few months the CWAC was charged with providing comments on the DRAFT Winooski River Tactical Basin Plan. The Winooski River Basin Plan will contain priorities and goals as well as implementation strategies specific to protecting and remediating surface waters in Central Vermont. Municipalities have a specific interest in these strategies. It is the job of the CVRPC and the CWAC to ensure that the Basin Plan is not in direct conflict with municipal and regional plans and that strategies address the water quality problems of their communities. The CWAC has also been reviewing the plan to make sure that nothing of importance has been left out of the plan as well and providing comments to the ANR Winooski River Basin Planner, Karen Bates. The CWAC to date has had three meetings and discussions have been lively and thought provoking for all involved. The commitment of this committee has shown that Central Vermont municipalities are all in for assistance in water quality improvement in the region and for Lake Champlain.
The formal public DRAFT Winooski River Basin Plan will be released for public review in late September, 2018 followed by a 30 day comment period. The CVRPC and basin planner, Karen Bates will hold a public meeting in the Central Vermont Region during the public comment period. Meeting dates will be posted on the Vermont Department of Libraries event site: http://libraries.vermont.gov/events. Watch for the public meeting date to hear a presentation on the plan.