Water Board rejects administration’s appeal

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(Host) The Water Resources Board has rejected a request by the Douglas administration to reconsider its recent ruling on stormwater pollution. The board in early June ruled that the state Agency of Natural Resources failed to follow the law when it granted watershed improvement permits for four streams in Chittenden County.

The state responded that the boards didn’t understand the science of stormwater management and that its decision would hurt local businesses. But in a brief decision released today the board categorically rejected the state’s arguments. Natural Resources Secretary Elizabeth McLain says she’s disappointed.

(McLain) “We thought we had made some points that they perhaps had not really considered. Given how long it took them to decide the case in the first place, I’m really disappointed that they decided not to reconsider or pay attention to our argument in this case.”

(Host) In its ruling, the board said the state’s watershed plans violated a state law that requires the streams to be improved in five years.

The state could now appeal to the Supreme Court. But Chris Kilian of the Conservation Law Foundation says that would just delay the clean-up work.

(Kilian) “The agency’s dragged it’s feet for over a decade and if they want to fight about what is an absolutely clear principle of Vermont law before the Supreme Court, that would just be a further unfortunate waste of time.”

(Host) Natural Resources Secretary McLain says she doesn’t know yet whether the state will appeal.

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