Important Meetings on Phosphorus Reduction

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will host important meetings on the re-writing of the Lake Champlain Phosphorous Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL - the phosphorus reduction budget. The meetings will focus on the northern portion of the Lake Champlain Basin. A second set of meetings are planned for November 14-18 for the southern portion.

The TMDL establishes an amount of phosphorus that can be absorbed by the lake and then allocates allowable discharges between point sources like wastewater treatment facilities and non-point sources such as agricultural and developed land run off. Despite extensive recent efforts to reduce pollution, we currently add far more phosphorus to the lake than is healthy for the ecosystem. The amount of phosphorus in the lake has not changed in most places and appears to be increasing in some lake segments. Too much phosphorus triggers weed growth and algae blooms (some of which can be toxic), causes low dissolved oxygen, and makes the lake less usable and enjoyable.

The meetings are an opportunity to learn more about phosphorus reduction needs, provide input on the practices, policies and funding necessary, discuss challenges and potential solutions for implementation, and share ideas and concerns about the approach. Each meeting is focused around a specific sector such as agriculture or urban/stormwater. LCC will co-host the October 6 meeting.

If you plan to attend a meeting please contact Michaela Stickney, VTDEC Lake Champlain Basin Coordinator at so the state can ensure the meeting sites are large enough.

Send written comments

For further background see:

The EPAs disapproval decision finding that the 2002 TMDL is inadequate

Vermonts revised implementation plan for the TMDL

The most recent State of the Lake Report, (see pages 4-10 for information on phosphorus loading)

TMDL Northern Lake Meetings

Tuesday October 4, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Agricultural Sector

Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCD)
617 Comstock Rd, Suite 1
Berlin, VT
Phone: (802) 828-4493 Ext. 113
(meet in the UVM Extension conference room in the complex)

Tuesday October 4, 3:00PM - 5:00 PM
Northern Municipality Sector

Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC)
155 Lake Street
St. Albans, VT
(802) 524-5958
(meet at NRPC offices)

Wednesday October 5, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Business Sector

Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce & Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation
60 Main Street, #100
Burlington, VT
(802) 863-3489
(meet at LCRCOC offices)

Wednesday October 5,
5:30PM - 7:30 PM
Nonprofit/Mid-lake Watershed Group Sector

ECHO/Leahy Center
1 College St.
Burlington, VT
(802) 864-1848
(meet in Alcove upstairs)

Thursday October 6, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
LakeCommittee Sector
Lake Champlain Basin Program
54 West Shore Rd.
Grand Isle, VT
(802) 372-3213                                                                                       
(meet at LCBP offices)

Thursday October 6, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Stormwater/Urban Sector
Shelburne Town Offices
5420 Shelburne Road
Shelburne, VT
(802) 985-5110
(meet at ShelburneTown Offices)