Clean Water Service Provider

Funding opportunities for projects that improve water quality in the Otter Creek Basin

ACRPC has been selected as the Clean Water Service Provider (CWSPs) for the Otter Creek Basin. The Otter Creek Basin encompasses all or part of 54 towns in six counties, with the majority of the towns (41) being in Addison and Rutland Counties. 

CWSPs  are charged with identifying, implementing, operating, and maintaining projects to improve water quality. They were established by the Vermont legislature under Act 76 of 2019. Projects eligible for support from a CWSP must not be required by regulation, and must lead to phosphorus reductions. The work of the CWSP will be guided by priorities outlined in the Otter Creek Tactical Basin Plan. The first round of funding for projects is anticipated in mid-2022.

The CWSP is guided by a Basin Water Quality Council (BWQC). The BWQC establishes policy and makes decisions for the CWSP regarding the most significant water quality impairments that exist in the basin and prioritizes the projects that will address those impairments based on the basin plan. Eligible members of the BWQC are established in statute and consist of two members from Natural Resource Conservation Districts, two members from regional planning commissions, two members from local watershed protection organizations, one member from a land conservation organization, and two members from municipalities. 

More information about the Clean Water Service Provider program is available at the Vermont DEC website.

Geography of the Otter Creek Watershed

This storied and highly used waterway has an important place in Vermont history. The longest river in Vermont, Otter Creek flows north from southern Vermont through a number of different bedrock formations, and the erosive power of water has created numerous waterfalls along its path. Before the widespread availability and use of fossil fuels, these waterfalls were invaluable as sites for hydropower, turning the mills that ground grain, milled lumber, and ran industrial plants such as forges.

As the word got out in lower New York and New England that the Otter Valley and the Champlain Valley were fertile, productive places, settlers migrated here. Communities sprung up at the more powerful falls along Otter Creek at Rutland, Brandon, Middlebury, and Vergennes. The soils in the valley produced corn, rye, oats, barley, wheat, peas, beans, hemp and flax. Otter Creek is still a workhorse of a river, hosting several hydroelectric facilities and wastewater treatment plants.

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Otter Creek Basin Water Quality Council

Council Members

Basin Water Quality Council members

Regional Planning Commission delegates

  • Barbara Noyes-Pulling, Rutland County RPC
  • Arabella Holzapfel, Addison County RPC
  • Alternate: Devon Neary, Rutland County RPC

Natural Resources Conservation District delegates

  • Nanci McGuire, Rutland County NRCD
  • Pam Stefanek, Otter Creek NRCD

Municipal delegates

  • Hilda Haines, Danby
  • Gioia Kuss, Weybridge

Watershed Organization delegates

  • Ellen Cronan, Addison County River Watch Collaborative Board Member
  • Kate Kelly, Lewis Creek Association, Program Manager
  • Alternate: Chris Robbins, ACRWC Board Member
  • Alternate: Andrea Morgante,  LCA Board Chair 

Land Conservation organization delegates

  • Steve Libby – Vermont River Conservancy

Meetings

The next meeting of the Otter Creek Basin Water Quality Council will be held on Wednesday September 28 at 2PM. The meeting will be held remotely via Google Meets with an in-person opportunity at the ACRPC office. Contact Mike Winslow ([email protected]) for log-in information. Meeting minutes and agenda will be posted here.

Staff Contact

Mike Winslow

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