Business groups challenge stormwater ruling

first_imgGBIC & LAKE CHAMPLAIN CHAMBER ANNOUNCE INTENT TO CHALLENGE WATER RESOURCES BOARD DECISION ON STORMWATERBURLINGTON – On behalf of the business community in northwestern Vermont, GBIC will appeal the October 14th Water Resources Board (WRB) ruling that requires the unprecedented application of the federal Clean Water Act and NPDES program to stormwater discharges from impervious surfaces in impaired waterways.Along with the Lake Champlain Chamber, GBIC and a diverse group of municipalities, business people, engineers and legislators, constructed a framework that would have cleaned up polluted watersheds and allowed for reasonable growth. Last session, the Legislature believed they had achieved a comparable success when they addressed stormwater pollution in a comprehensive way by passing Act 140. The collaborative heralded it as Vermont’s solution to Vermont’s problem.Despite the considerable collaborative effort over the past year, on Thursday, October 14th, the WRB issued a surprising decision regarding Vermont’s stormwater permitting program. The decision has the potential to halt the clean-up process that the State Legislature began this year with the passage of Act 140. The WRB ruled that a federal permit must regulate stormwater discharges in impaired watersheds, even though no such permit will be available for 3-5 years. Furthermore, the failure to get a permit exposes anyone who owns an impervious surface in these watersheds to suit in federal court by anyone.”The economic impacts of this decision are dire and the environmental impacts are even worse,” said Ernie Pomerleau, GBIC Board member and owner of Pomerleau Real Estate. “Pollution will continue to flow into our water unchecked and projects that would have cleaned these streams are sidelined.”In light of the WRB ruling’s environmental and economic implications, GBIC and other stakeholders will be appealing the decision. In addition to the appeal, GBIC and the Lake Champlain Chamber will consider a multi-faceted approach to solving the stormwater problem, including legislative and broad-based community outreach efforts.”GBIC looks forward to working on the WRB case with the other appellants,” said Frank Cioffi, GBIC President. “It is imperative that we move forward with cleaning our waterways and promoting economic development.”For more information, contact Mary Sprayregen at 863-3489 ext. 206 or mary@vermont.org(link sends e-mail).The LCRCC is a non-profit organization that provides socially responsible leadership to enhance the economic environment of the Lake Champlain Region and Vermont. GBIC is a private non-profit economic development corporation that serves as a catalyst for industrial and economic growth in Chittenden County.# # #last_img

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