Gov. Scott signs water quality bill

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Gov. Scott said the act is something that will not happen overnight.

“We will need to stay committed to supporting clean water work for the long run and that’s exactly the approach we have taken in act 76,” said Scott.

The new act will invest nearly $15 million from the general fund in the coming fiscal year, and more than $20 million annually for the future.

The annual investment will leverage other funding sources resulting in an annual clean water investment of more than $50 million.

  However, Scott said the act is about more than just funding.

“It creates new regional entities to call clean water service providers to make sure projects achieve our clean water goals,” said Scott. “These providers will establish in each major river basin to identify, implement and maintain local water quality projects providing oversight to ensure the significant investment of taxpayer dollars is working and making a difference.”

The governor also says the act will help Vermonters in many ways.

“In addition to complying with the EPA addressing pollution in our waterways, we will have additional benefits for Vermonters including a landscape that better prepared for the climate, a better habitat for our fish and wildlife and much improved water recreation,” said Scott.

Secretary of Vermont agency of natural resources Julie Moore feels the act is groundbreaking and prioritizes both regulatory and voluntary projects.

“Act 76 satisfies one of most the significant outstanding milestones we’ve had with EPA,” said Moore.

EPA region 1 water director Ken Moraff said, “we congratulate Vermont for taking this really critical step and we will stay with you for the entire trip.”

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