Public feedback sought on Otter Creek plan

BRANDON — The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is taking public comment on its 2019 Draft Otter Creek Tactical Basin Plan. The agency seeks public feedback on the plan at an informational meeting in Brandon next week and will take written or electronic comment through Nov. 8.

The plan covers portions of Bennington, Rutland and Addison counties and all lakes, rivers and wetlands within the Otter Creek, Little Otter Creek and Lewis Creek watersheds.

The plan provides an assessment of the health of the basin and identifies 55 water quality strategies across the following sectors: agriculture, developed lands (stormwater and roads), wastewater treatment facilities, and restoration of forest lands, lakes, rivers and wetlands. The plan also includes information about how landowners, watershed organizations, and communities can access funding and technical assistance to help protect and restore water resources.

The ANR scheduled several public comment meetings in October to gather feedback on the plan presented by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation in partnership with the Addison County Regional Planning Commission (RPC), the Rutland RPC, the Otter Creek Natural Resource Conservation District (NRCD), and the Rutland NRCD.

“The clean-up of Lake Champlain has given added importance to tactical basin plans,” said Barbara Noyes-Pulling, senior planner at Rutland RPC. “Rising to the challenge, the Department of Environmental Conservation made sure this plan not only includes the best available data, but that it also gives Otter Creek municipalities specific actions that they can take to reduce pollutants going into the lake. This new plan also is a colorful and graphic-filled document to help all of us better understand the problems and solutions. There are no easy fixes, but this is a great roadmap for the next five years.”

The next public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Brandon Town Hall, 1 Conant Square, in Brandon. It will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The public is encouraged to attend Tuesday’s meeting, hear a presentation, and offer comments and suggestions.

Those unable to attend a meeting, may view copies of the draft plan and an interactive Story Map online at the Basin 3 tactical basin planning website, dec.vermont.gov/watershed/map/basin-planning/basin3.

To request a copy of the plan, contact Angie Allen via email at Angie.Allen@vermont.gov or phone at (802) 490-9081.

Comments should be directed by email to ANR.Basin3Comments@vermont.gov or by postal mail to Angie Allen, Basin 3 Comments, 430 Asa Bloomer State Office Bldg., 88 Merchants Row, Rutland, VT, 05701-5903. Comments should be postmarked or submitted via email by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 8. Comments received by this date will be addressed in a responsiveness summary.

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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