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Mayor announces new stormwater ordinance

BURLINGTON - At a press conference Jan. 13, Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss, other City officials, members of the Mayor's Stormwater Taskforce, and others discussed the City's new comprehensive stormwater ordinance.

Mayor Kiss convened the Stormwater Task Force approximately two years ago, charged with assessing current regulations and practices as they pertain to stormwater management within the city and with producing solutions to identified deficiencies. Effective stormwater management is key to water quality in Lake Champlain, one of the region's most important environmental and economic resources.

The Task Force was comprised of representatives from the Conservation Board, Public Works, Planning and Zoning, the City Attorney's Office, and Code Enforcement, and included the participation of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns among others.

The Task Force developed and proposed a new comprehensive stormwater ordinance for Burlington. The new ordinance covers a broad spectrum of issues, including:

•Updated wastewater provisions

•Municipal administration of wastewater permits

•New stormwater sections to address

•Administration and execution

•Illicit discharges and connections

•Construction site erosion control

•Post-construction stormwater management

•Enforcement

•Fee structure

The Task Force sought the input of a wide variety of groups, including environmental non-profits, business representatives, city boards and commissions, city departments, NPAs, the Citizen's Budget Task Force, and the state. The Burlington City Council also reviewed the proposed ordinance and approved it last month.

"Protecting water quality in Lake Champlain is of the highest priority for this region's environmental and economic vitality and future," said Kiss. "The City's new stormwater ordinance is a significant step towards this goal. I appreciate the work of everyone involved in developing the new ordinance, and in particular thank the Stormwater Task Force for their commitment and hard work towards this important effort."

The City received input and support for the ordinance from: The Lake Champlain Committee; The Water Quality Division of the State of Vermont; The Conservation Law Foundation; The Conservation Board; The UVM's Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources; The Burlington Planning Commission; The Burlington Board of Health; The Public Works Commission; and The Citizen's Budget Task Force.

"These much-needed regulations reflect Burlington's enhanced commitment to the protection and restoration of Lake Champlain and its tributaries through comprehensive stormwater pollution prevention," said Conservation Law Foundation staff attorney Anthony Iarrapino. "CLF applauds the Mayor's Stormwater Task Force for the thoughtful and inclusive process that yielded these sensible clean water regulations."

The ordinance is effective April 1. It will be administered through the Department of Public Works. More information about the ordinance can be found at www.ci.burlington.vt.us

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