SAAWA Annual Meeting
You are Invited! Thursday, Aug. 18, 5:30 pm
at The Stonehouse at the Bay Park
You are invited! Please come to SAAWA's Annual Meeting.
This year we will host a summer BBQ (hot dogs, hamburgers and
salads) and will be meeting back at The Stonehouse
at the St. Albans Town Bay Park.
Agenda: State of the Bay, Harvester Report, Election of Officers,
and Guest Speaker: Becky Tharp, Program Manager: Green
Infrastructure Collective at UVM will talk about "What can WE
Do for Clean Water."
great time to see friends and neighbors, discuss the Bay, and
renew your SAAWA membership. We hope to see you there!
Green Mountain Power
Manure Digester Update:
SAAWA met with representatives from Green Mountain Power in June to express our concerns regarding the proposed manure digester on Dunsmore Road. At that time, GMP was not able to fully answer our concerns regarding whether the digester will contribute to cleaner water in the Bay or simply create a situation enabling more cows and corn field runoff.
We remain concerned about spills at this sensitive location (a compromised waterway, Jewett Brook, feeding directly into the Bay ) and feel trucking in additional organic matter (food waste from other sources in Franklin County) does not seem like a good idea. At this time, GMP has no specific plans for removal of processed phosphorus from the watershed. They agreed to provide us with more information about safety precautions and process but we have not received it yet. It is our understanding that the project has been suspended pending further engineering review.
We were able to express our concerns to GMP that this is a large investment in big farming, which has great potential to adversely impact the Bay.
SAAWA has concerns about the multi-million GMP digester project
proposed for Dunsmore Road. Our main concern is that clean water
benefits for St. Albans Bay are unclear. Potential for spills is
worrisome and the location is problematic.
Jewett Brook, which is directly adjacent to the proposed site, is
already an impaired waterway which shows the negative effects
(choking weeds, blue green algae blooms, dirty water) from nearby
area runoff. It is not clear that this project will improve the water
quality in any way and, in fact, has the potential to make it much
worse by bringing in additional manure and food waste from a 50
mile radius. We are seeking more information on this issue and
have submitted our concerns to the PSB.
Vermont TMDL Plan Positve,
Still Needs Watching
SAAWA has seen more movement this year in the effort to clean
up St. Albans Bay and Lake Champlain than any year in the
last 20. SAAWA leadership and all the members of SAAWA
should be proud of our contribution to this effort.
SAAWA has four main goals. We strive to:
1. Bear witness to the situation on the ground and clearly,
loudly speak the truth;
2. Directly improve water conditions in the Bay;
3. Lobby for more aggressive regulatory action;
4. Be in the vanguard as to what efforts should be undertaken by regulators to clean up the lake.
What is the TMDL?
The EPA has rewritten the TMDL for Lake Champlain, which is the plan for how much pollution, in our case phosphorus, can enter the lake and still have acceptable water quality. TMDL stands for total maximum daily load.
Originally written in 2002, it has governed the water quality improvement efforts. The Conservation Law Foundation sued the Federal Government o overturn it, viewing it as inadequate. We were one of the few voices to support the CLF. As a settlement to that suit, the EPA agreed to revise the plan which is in the final approval phase. The new TMDL will govern the water quality improvement efforts in the next few years. The new TMDL is now almost universally recognized as a watershed (no pun intended) moment in the lake cleanup efforts.