A key legislative committee is recommending $31 million in new taxes and fees annually to clean up Lake Champlain and other Vermont water bodies, prompting a swift rebuke from a Republican governor who says the “baffling” proposal will hurt businesses and “make Vermont less affordable.”
In the 1960s and 1970s, Dartmouth College buried lab animals, human tissues and other medical waste at Rennie Farm. Today some drinking water in the areas around Rennie Farm has been contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a suspected carcinogen.
After the industrial chemical PFOA contaminated the drinking water of hundreds of people in southern Vermont, legislators wanted to avoid another surprise contamination. So last year, they tasked a working group to figure out how the state could more proactively regulate chemicals. Now the group is back with recommendations.
One-point-three billion dollars. That's the total amount the state thinks it needs to clean up Lake Champlain and other waterways over the next 20 years. So where does the money come from? The Treasurer's Office has just released a report that maps out how to raise most of that funding.
If lawmakers go along with the recommendations outlined in a long-awaited report released late Sunday night, then property owners across Vermont will pick up much of the tab for a water-quality improvement initiative expected to cost almost $1 billion over the next 20 years.
Officials lifted a boil water notice Friday morning for the towns of Addison, Bridport and Shoreham. The Tri-Town water system's 1,600 customers were advised to boil their water on Monday, Dec. 19 after three separate incidents led officials to believe the system may have been contaminated by groundwater.
Environmental watchdogs say they’re heartened by Governor-elect Phil Scott’s pick to lead the Agency of Natural Resources, but that it’s too early to discern whether the incoming Republican administration is serious about cleaning up Lake Champlain and tackling some of the other major environmental issues facing Vermont.