water Caucus

Michael O’Grady explaining water quality standards and Lake Champlain TMDL to the Vermont Legislators in the newly formed legislative water quality causus.

The first 2 weeks at the Vermont statehouse have been rather exciting for water quality!  Last week the Governor, Peter Shumlin spoke about Lake Champlain and water quality and dedicated new and existing revenues to clean up efforts.  The creation of a Clean Water Water Fund, something FNLC has been begging for for years was announced with the first investment of $5,000,000 from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters over 5 years.  FNLC was proud to be part of the first full day of the session and spent the morning greeting law makers in an effort to explain the work that needs to get done, and we were even fortunate enough to host our Board Meeting in Room 11.  Following that, we were welcomed guests during the Inaugural Address.  This past week, we spent some time in the House Fish, Wildlife and Water Committee to hear about a new Water Quality Bill that they are drafting.  We attended 2 exciting Press Conferences in the Cedar Creek Room.  The first one was environmental groups supporting the Governor’s lead on water quality this session and the second was an announcement from the USDA that Vermont and New York have received an additional $16 million for Lake Champlain clean up efforts!  We went back up on Friday to attend the weekly Water Caucus being spearheaded by our Franklin County Delegation.  We plan on being in the statehouse this year and will be frequent visitors to the committees working on the water quality bill to ensure that the resources are allocated and are delivered to the places of greatest need.