Water quality outreach underway

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BENNINGTON >> Through a grant provided from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC) has launched a multi-pronged outreach effort focused on improving water quality in compliance with the Vermont Clean Water Act (VCWA) which was made into law this past spring.

The BCRC will work with municipal staff and boards to provide information about the requirements for municipalities triggered by the VCWA and also work with them on options such as stronger municipal protections against flood hazards and river corridor erosion, stormwater master planning, and other town plan or zoning changes to improve water quality. BCRC staff will also update fluvial erosion hazard/river corridor maps for the towns and assist them with compiling existing information to use in developing implementation plans under the municipal roads stormwater.

As part of DEC's Tactical Basin Planning program, the BCRCC will work closely with DEC staff to facilitate municipal and stakeholder participation in the development of the Hudson River Basin 1 Tactical Water Quality Management Plan.The Hudson River Basin includes the Batten Kill, Walloomsac, and Hoosic River watersheds, which includes all the land in Vermont that drains to the Hudson River. The Tactical Basin 1 Plan actions are intended to protect, maintain, and improve surface waters by managing activities that result in surface water stressors. Implementation actions will initially place significant emphasis on flood resiliency work related to restoration efforts necessitated by Tropical Storm Irene. BCRC will provide the DEC Watershed Coordinator with comments and inputs into the Basin 1 Plan including project prioritization.

The BCRC provides planning and technical assistance in the areas of community development, transportation, agriculture, natural resources, housing, economic development, and emergency management to the 17 municipalities of Bennington County and the public. The collaboration between the BCRC, Bennington County municipalities and other related resource agencies results in the development and implementation of plans that support sustainable development and improve the region's environment and quality of life. For more information about the BCRC, please visit www.bcrcvt.org.

For more information, contact Jim Henderson, BCRC Environmental Program Manager: at jhenderson@bcrcvt.org, or (tel.) 802-442-0456.


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