Ag Rules on Hold

Another planting season without stronger ag regulations. Image: WAMC/Pat Bradley.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has requested a delay in up-dating their pollution control rules for agriculture. The up-date is required under Act 64, the water quality bill passed by the Vermont legislature in 2015. Act 64 called for the Agency to finalize the rules by July 1, 2016. The Agency wants that date pushed back until September.

The Agency released a first draft of the rules last October and a second draft in February, so extensive work has already gone into preparing them. The Agency argues that the February draft has generated additional comments that they need time to address. LCC and other groups have provided extensive comments to help guide development and implementation of the rules.

LCC expressed disappointment in the request. “We need strong regulations now,” said Executive Director Lori Fisher. "The delay means another growing season will pass before agriculture adopts better practices to protect water quality."