Public, town officials officials invited to water quality meetings

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BRATTLEBORO, — Through a grant provided from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the Windham Regional Commission has launched a multi-pronged outreach effort focused on improving water quality and helping towns comply with the Vermont Clean Water Act, which was made law this past spring.

This effort will kick off with a series of three meetings for town officials and the general public on Jan. 11.

WRC will host two meetings for town officials to discuss the DEC Municipal Roadway Permit implementation and timeline. Jim Ryan, DEC, will present an overview of the regulatory process and will address any requirement questions. The 10 a.m. meeting will be held at the Townshend Garage, 1102 Grafton Rd., as part of its quarterly Windham Region Road Foremen Meeting. The 4:30 p.m. meeting will be held at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St., as part of the monthly WRC Transportation Committee Meeting.

All are welcome to attend a public meeting to discuss the essential components of a healthy trout population, the importance of clean water in supporting healthy aquatic organism populations, and what the new Vermont Clean Water Act will mean for Vermont's waterways, towns, and farmers. The 6:30 p.m. meeting will be held at the Marlboro College Graduate School, 28 Vernon St., Brattleboro, in conjunction with Trout Unlimited's regular meeting.

The keynote speakers will be Commissioner Louis Porter and Rich Kirn from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Also speaking will be Chris Campany, Windham Regional Commission, Representative David Deen, Connecticut River Watershed Council, Jim Ryan, Vermont Department of Conservation, and Ryan Patch, Agency of Agriculture, Food, and and Markets.

This work will be ongoing. The WRC will work with municipal staff and boards to provide information about the requirements of the VCWA for municipalities. The WRC will also provide towns with support to protect public safety and property against flood hazards and improve water quality through town planning and regulatory documents.

As part of DEC's Tactical Basin Planning program, the WRC will work closely with DEC staff to facilitate municipal participation in the completion of the West, Williams, and Saxtons River Basin Plan and in assisting with implementing the priority projects identified in the Basin Plans for all of the Windham Region.

For more information about this water quality initiative or to RSVP to an event, contact Kim Smith at ksmith@windhamregional.org or 802-257-4547, ext. 108. For more information about the WRC, visit www.windhamregional.org.


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