Water Board Ruling Revokes Lowe’s Construction Permit

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(Host) Construction is continuing Friday on a Lowe’s Home Center in South Burlington despite a ruling by the Vermont Water Resources Board that revoked a construction permit.

The ruling applies to Lowe’s general construction permit. The Board said that permit does not cover the store’s stormwater discharge runoff into a nearby polluted stream during construction.

Attorney Christopher Killian is with the Conservation Law Foundation, which filed the appeal that led to the decision. He calls the ruling a victory for clean water:

(Killian) “The ripple effect for development in Chittenden County is, if someone wants to do major construction in one of these watersheds that’s already badly polluted and contributing a lot of pollution to Lake Champlain they’re going to have to meet a far higher standard than other construction sites in other areas of the state.”

(Host) Jennifer Smith is with Lowe’s Public Relations Department in North Carolina. She says the company has not been directed to halt construction, but they’ll comply if such a request is made:

(Smith) “Obviously we follow all rules and regulations as it pertains to construction of our stores. We have been working with officials for quite some time. It is our intention to be a good neighbor, it is our intention to be a good corporate citizen. We have worked with local, state and federal authorities throughout this entire process and of course we will comply with all rules and regulations to continue this process.”

(Host) Representatives from Lowe’s say they’re consulting with the Agency of Natural Resources on how to proceed with the construction project. The ruling does allow Lowe’s to apply for a separate permit to cover additional pollution to the stream from the construction site.

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