Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Seeks Public Input on Water Quality Improvement Plans for Lake Memphremagog Watershed
Montpelier, Vt. – The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public input on three draft plans being released today to strategically improve water quality in the Lake Memphremagog watershed. A series of public meetings will be held this month to discuss the plans and hear suggestions from citizens.
The waters of Lake Memphremagog are shared with the province of Quebec, but most of the ponds and rivers that feed it are located in Vermont. The watershed includes the Black, Barton and Clyde Rivers, and many lakes and ponds such as Great and Little Hosmer Lakes, Lake Parker, Crystal Lake, Lake Willoughby, Island Pond, Great and Little Averill Ponds, Norton Pond, Holland Pond and Seymour Lake.
To keep these waters in a healthy condition, the State is required to write a pollution control plan known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to set limits on phosphorous pollution being contributed to the lake. The draft TMDL for Lake Memphremagog released today sets a target of 29% reduction in phosphorous flowing off the landscape into the lake. To meet that target, the Department of Environmental Conservation worked with local and regional experts to draft a Tactical Basin Plan, which outlines watershed-specific actions and projects necessary to achieve the target.
A specific part of the TMDL requiring public input is the set of proposed pollution limits for wastewater treatment facilities in the Lake Memphremagog watershed, known as “wasteload allocations.” The wasteload allocation is intended to fairly and equitably apportion allowable levels of phosphorus pollution among wastewater treatment plants in as cost-effective a manner as practical.
Citizens are encouraged to attend one of the following public hearings for a presentation and the opportunity to provide comments and suggestions on projects that impact the waters they enjoy:
Monday, May 22: Newport
6:30pm at Emory Hebard Office Building, 100 Maine Street, Room 250
Tuesday, May 30: Brighton
7:00pm at Brighton Town Hall, 49 Mill Street Ext.
Wednesday, May 31: Craftsbury
6:30pm at Sterling College, Common House, 16 Sterling Drive
Public comments on the plans will be accepted until close of business on June 16, 2017.
To view a copy of draft TMDL and tactical basin plan, go to http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/map/basin-planning/basin17, or request a copy from Ben Copans at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 751-2610.
Public comments can be directed to Ben Copans by e-mail or by mail at the following address:
374 Emerson Falls Road, Suite 4
St. Johnsbury VT 05819
Invasive Plants- Identification, impacts and management – A FREE workshop for landowners — Saturday May 13th 9:00am – 12:00pm (no rain date)
VIP Workshop Registration Now Open
Join Vermont Lakes and Ponds Program staff on June 9, 2017 12:30-3:30 North Country Career Center, Room 380 First Floor, 209 Veterans Ave, Newport for a workshop offered through
the Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIP) Program. VIP workshops cover such fundamentals as the difference between native, exotic, nuisance and invasive species; how invasive species are introduced and established; how to differentiate native aquatic plants and animals from their invasive lookalikes (plants will be emphasized); and how to conduct surveys for aquatic invasive species in lakes and ponds. Register Online!
The Newport VIP training will be a joint workshop with the Public Access Greeter Program. The Greeter Training starts at 10 AM and the VIP training starts at 12:30 PM. You are welcome to attend both.
The Newport Parks & Recreation Department is looking for people to fill the job of Greeter at the Newport City Dock. In an effort to educate the public on aquatic invasive species and to improve the recreational value and overall health of Lake Memphremagog, the department wishes to implement a Greeter Program. Click the following link for more information. Greeter job description.
If you are interested please contact Andrew Cappello, Newport Parks & Recreation email@example.com
- Conservation Law Foundation
- Lake Champlain Committee
- Lake Champlain International
- Lintilhac Foundation
- Sierra Club
- The Nature Conservancy
- Vermont Association of Conservation Voters
- Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
- Vermont Clean Water Network
- Vermont Natural Resources Council
- Watersheds United Vermont
Current Public Participation Opportunities – Long-Term Funding of Clean Water
November Public Comment Period
The Office of the State Treasurer is accepting public comments on clean water revenue source options from November 16th through December 1st.
On Tuesday November 15th from 2:00 to 3:30 at the East Side Restaurant, 47 Landing St in Newport, The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will be seeking input on proposed phosphorus cleanup plan for Lake Memphremagog that will be the basis of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
Phosphorus levels in the Vermont portion of Lake Memphremagog are above the water quality standard and contribute to cyanobacteria blooms as well as excessive plant and algae growth that limits the quality of the lake for recreational use. Modeling of phosphorus runoff from the Lake Memphremagog watershed estimates that much of the phosphorus load is coming from agricultural lands (45%), developed lands which contribute 23%, with an additional 20% from stream channel instability and 12% from natural sources. Modeling also estimates that loading from these sources needs to be reduced by 29% for the lake to meet its water quality standards.
At this meeting proposed phosphorus reduction targets for each of these land use sectors will be presented along with control strategies including regulatory programs, technical and financial resources that are needed to support municipalities, individuals, farmers in meeting these loading reduction targets. Attached is a summary of the TMDL proposal that will be discussed at this meeting.
Ahead of the TMDL meeting from 1:30 to 2:00 at the same location, the Memphremagog Watershed Association will present the results of a stormwater master planning study for the Lake Memphremagog Watershed that has identified several projects to reduce stormwater runoff in the watershed including the towns of Barton, Orleans, Derby and the City of Newport. These projects will be priorities for future grants to reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Memphremagog.
For more information on TMLD, phosperus levels, the water shed and how it all impacts the health of Lake Memphremagog, click on the link below.