Vermont Business Magazine The US Environmental Protection Agency yesterday released the 2012 Clean Watersheds Needs Survey. This survey compiles 2012 data for wastewater and stormwater projects planned for the five years following the survey. The five-year cost for these projects across the nation was $271 billion, of which Vermont’s share was $154 million. (http://www.epa.gov/cwns(link is external))“Clean water is our most precious resource,” noted Commissioner Alyssa Schuren of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. “If anything, the U.S. EPA’s survey understates the cost of restoring and enhancing the quality of Vermont waters. I remain committed to working with the Vermont Legislature and U.S. EPA to secure long-term clean water resources.” Vermont’s clean water projects will help ensure that local waters remain fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters. By preventing untreated wastewater and stormwater from reaching lakes and rivers, Vermont communities play a key role in keeping Vermont’s waters clean. Both the U.S. EPA and the State of Vermont contribute money to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which provides low-interest loans to municipalities for clean water projects. The State of Vermont also provides funding for clean water projects through pollution control grants and the Vermont Clean Water Fund.Some of the Vermont projects included in this survey were the phosphorus upgrades at the Waterbury wastewater treatment facility, the refurbishment of the Royalton wastewater treatment facility, a phosphorus removal-alternatives study at the St. Albans wastewater treatment facility, and a needs assessment for wastewater treatment for the Town of Fairfield.Local communities can obtain low-interest loans for wastewater and stormwater projects through Vermont’s clean water state revolving fund, which receives an infusion of roughly $17 million a year from federal and state sources, which includes funding for project planning.“Local communities can access planning funds to initiate water quality projects. Preliminary engineering is a critical first step to advancing capital improvement projects,” commented Eric Blatt, Facilities Engineering Division Director for the Department of Environmental Conservation. Communities interested in learning about these funds are encouraged to contact the Facilities Engineering Division.Below: EPA survey for Vermont. Top Photo: Governor Shumlin signs the Water Quality bill last summer at St Albans Bay alongside legislative and environmental leaders. Courtesy photo.