The Vermont House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee is holding a final hearing on H.586, a bill designed to improve water quality in Vermont, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 13 in the House Chamber.
The bill would set new regulations for agricultural activities that can cause water pollution. The legislation would require that farmers create buffer zones along waterways and fence livestock from rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. It would also require farmers to obtain discharge permits for stormwater runoff from the development of impervious surfaces of more than a half acre.
The proposal would establish a Water Resources Preservation Program to pay for projects that would improve water quality and prevent or repair flood damage.
Funding for the program would come from a fee assessed against all developed property; a 1-cent per bottle excise tax on bottled water and a 10-cent per package excise tax on flushable products.
Citizens who wish to testify can sign up a half hour before the hearing and leave written statements with the committee.
Read the bill as introduced: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2014/bills/Intro/H-586.pdf
Read the latest iteration of the bill: http://www2.leg.state.vt.us/legdir/committeeinfo.cfm?CommitteeID=193&Folder=House%20Fish%20and%20Wildlife/Bills&Sort=Bill