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Stormwater

Stormwater is any form of precipitation which runs off the land. The construction of impervious surfaces prevents stormwater runoff from effectively infiltrating the ground. Examples of impervious surfaces include paved surfaces, concrete, buildings, rooftops, and gravel roads. During precipitation events high impervious surface areas and unmanaged stormwater runoff can cause increased flooding and pollution runoff and concentration in water bodies.

Stormwater runoff from municipal roads is one of the major sources of surface water pollutants identified by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Under the Municipal Roads Stormwater Program towns must address stormwater runoff from roadways and implement customized, multi-year plans to stabilize road drainage systems.

The VT Department of Environmental Conservation Municipal Roads Program page has created a clearinghouse of funding, tools, and guidance resources related to the Municipal Roads General Permit.

Related Resources

Green Infrastructure Topic Paper  from the Vermont Land Use Collaborative's "Vermont Land Use Planning Implementation Manual"

State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Better Roads Program


Vermont's Clean water Act

 

Floods and Floodplain Management

Act 64, passed in 2015, is commonly known as Vermont's Clean Water Act. The bill requires changes to stormwater, forestry, agricultural and road maintenance practices in order to improve the quality of surface water in Vermont. The Lake Champlain TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) is a plan developed under federal clean water laws to set guidelines for phosphorus reduction in the Lake Champlain Basin. Together, the Lake Champlain TMDL and Act 64 will require changes to how municipalities, farmers and property owners manage stormwater run off and land development. To view a power point presentation on Act 64 click here.

The Vermont Clean Water Initiative has statutory support to strengthen efforts aimed at reducing water pollution, thanks to the Vermont Clean Water Act. The new Vermont Clean Water Initiative focuses on reducing sediment and nutrient (phosphorus and nitrogen) pollution across the State from six major sources. The Initiative will also help finance actions using a new Clean Water Fund.

Related Resources

VT Department of Environmental Conservation Clean Water Initiative

VTrans Vermont’s Clean Water Act and Municipal Transportation Handout

 

Streams and rivers change course and flood through natural processes. Floods have shaped the natural landscape since the beginning of time and will continue to do so. The floodplain is the comparatively low-lying land adjacent to a waterway, and is generally defined according to its frequency of flooding.

National Flood Insurance Program

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to allow property owners to insure against flood loss since most homeowners' insurance policies do not cover flood damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the NFIP, which manages the mapping of the nation's floodplains and makes federally-subsidized flood insurance available in participating communities. According to the FEMA Community Status Report approximately 85 percent of all Vermont cities and towns currently participate in the NFIP.

Flood Resilience

Municipal officials can get the most up-to-date information to improve their community's flood resilience by visiting the Flood Ready Vermont website. If you have any questions, please contact Milly Archer, CFM, Water Quality Coordinator, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center at marcher@vlct.org.

The Vermont Association of Planning and Development publishes a number of Floodplain Factsheets 

Resources