Farmers Meet About Water Quality

Clean WaterST.JOHNSBURY-Farmers from across the Northeast Kingdom gathered at the Comfort Inn in St. Johnsbury, to review a water quality draft that relates to Act 64. Act 64 which was passed earlier this year, improves the quality of the state's water. The act also serves as a way to regulate agricultural practices.

The purpose of having the local farmers meet in St.Johnsbury was to ensure that the citizen's thoughts and concerns are able to be heard. "Farmers and public input as to their thoughts as to whether they're implementable and if they will meet water quality goals. It would be important for the final rules moving forward looking towards the spring," says Senior Agricultural Development Coordinator, Ryan Patch.

Under this new draft, farmers would be restricted on where they are allowed to dispose of their wastes. "Farms subject to regulation under these Rules, shall not create any direct discharge of wastes from a production area or waste management system into the surface waters of the State through a discrete conveyance such as, but not limited to, a pipe, ditch, or conduit without a permit from the Secretary of ANR", reads and excerpt from the draft.

Act 64 was passed in June as a part of Vermont's Clean Water Initiative which aims to fix the water problems Vermont is having statewide.This draft will be reviewed by Vermonts Agency of Agricultural Farms and Markets after December 18th. However, the final plan is not expected until the summer of next year.

Farmers and citizens will still have two chances to have their voices heard on this draft. On Thursday, December 10th, from 9am to 11am at the Vermont State House in Montpelier, and 2pm to 4pm on the same day at the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, public meetings concerning this draft will be held.

Anyone who wishes to obtain more information and to read the initial draft can go to http://agriculture.vermont.gov/water-quality/regulations/rap#Q5 for more information

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