Act 250 Criteria 1, 1A, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F Water Resources

 

Criterion 1 - Water Pollution

Description/Review

The Agency reviews projects to ensure compliance with applicable Agency water quality regulations, policies and guidance documents. Project impacts that affect water quality and quantity are also considered under relevant and more specific Act 250 criteria such as 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G, 2, 3 and 4. See other criteria information for more specifics.

ANR Atlas Layers

See specific criteria information

ANR Technical Program

DEC Watershed Management Programs, Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division, Department of Fish and Wildlife

Criterion Specific Site Plan Information

See specific criteria information

Criterion Specific Narrative Information

Describe measures for avoidance and minimization of impacts to water quality and quantity

Policy/Guidance Documents & Rules

See specific water related criteria

ANR Permits/Approvals

See specific water related criteria

401 Water Quality Certifications, Water Quality Monitoring or Restoration Plans

Examples of Project Types

Large projects that pose potentially significant water quality/quantity impacts or prolonged construction activities (ski resort expansions, airport expansions, highways, large housing developments)

 

Criterion 1 - Blasting

Description/Review

Projects that involve blasting have the potential to impact groundwater and water supplies. Blasting products may contain hazardous chemicals including, but not limited to nitrates and nitrites. These chemicals have the potential to enter groundwater supplies through surface water connections, or underground bedrock fractures. Because of the potential of impacts from blasting, the Agency typically requests Applicants follow at a minimum, a set of blasting best management practices for blasting. The Agency typically requests that Projects involving blasting greater than 5,000 cubic yards of undisturbed rock per year develop a groundwater monitoring plan for review by the Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division.

ANR Atlas Layers

  • Private Wells
  • Public Water Sources
  • Groundwater SPAs,
  • Surface Water SPAs

ANR Technical Program

Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division – Hydrogeologists

Criterion Specific Site Plan Information

Location and extent of blasting over the life of the project

Criterion Specific Narrative Information

Approximate annual volume of material blasted and frequency of blasting

Policy/Guidance Documents & Rules

Best Management Practices for Blasting Activities to Avoid Environmental Contamination

Practice for Review of Groundwater Monitoring Plans for Blasting Activities under Act 250 Criteria 1 and 9E

ANR Permits/Approvals

Groundwater Monitoring Plan (quarries only), or DWGWPD confirmation no plan is required

Examples of Project Types

Quarries, any project involving blasting

 

Criterion 1A - Headwaters

Description/Review

Headwaters are lands that have steep slopes and shallow soils, watersheds draining 20 square miles or less, above 1,500 feet, watersheds for public water supplies, or areas that supply significant amounts of recharge to aquifers.

For headwaters areas that are associated with public water supplies, the Agency looks to ensure public water supplies will not be impacted by a project.

Small headwater streams, typically higher in the watershed, are sensitive to surrounding impacts that affect a stream’s riparian zone and topography. The Agency typically requests a 50’ undisturbed naturally vegetated riparian zone between project activities and a headwater stream.

ANR Atlas Layers

  • Intermittent Streams,
  • Perennial Streams,
  • Surface and Groundwater SPAs

ANR Technical Program

Criterion Specific Site Plan Information

  • Surface and Groundwater SPAs,
  • Stream course and name,
  • Top of bank or slope,
  • 50'/100' riparian zone from top of bank/slope or wetland boundary/buffer if stream flows through wetland,
  • impact area and square feet remaining after demonstrating avoidance/minimization measures
  • EPSC measures

Criterion Specific Narrative Information

Describe activities occurring in riparian zones (existing, proposed, construction, ongoing operations/vegetation management), and proposed steps to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts (plantings/revegetation etc.) to riparian zones

ANR Permits/Approvals

Riparian Management Plan and/or review letter from DFW Fisheries Program, review letter from Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division Source Protection Specialist

 

Criterion 1C - Water Withdrawls 

Description/Review

Projects that involve surface water withdrawals for snowmaking, golf course irrigation, or other withdrawal that has the potential to affect waterbody levels or flows, typically requires review by the Agency’s Streamflow Protection Program. The Program ensures the withdrawals meet minimum stream flows identified in Vermont’s Water Quality Standards.

ANR Technical Program

DEC Watershed Management Division Stream Flow Protection Program

Criterion Specific Site Plan Information

Location of water withdrawals, snowmaking/irrigation pipelines, limits of disturbance, design of intake structure

Criterion Specific Narrative Information

Contact Stream Flow Protection Program to discuss requirements

Policy/Guidance Documents & Rules

DEC Streamflow Protection Page

ANR Permits/Approvals

Flow Determination Letter or other approval letter from Stream Flow Protection Program

Examples of Project Types

Snowmaking, Golf Course Irrigation, Dam Removals

 

Criterion 1D - Floodways

Description/Review

The Act 250 Floodway is comprised of the FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and the ANR River Corridor. Projects in these locations must meet the performance standards outlined in the Agency’s Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Protection Procedure. 

ANR Atlas Layers

Perennial Streams, River Corridors, DFIRM Floodways, Flood Hazard Areas (note digital FEMA data is not available on the ANR atlas for Addison, Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Orange, and Orleans Counties – visit the FEMA map service center to identify the SFHA for your project)

ANR Technical Program

DEC Rivers Program – Floodplain Managers

Criterion Specific Site Plan Information

  • stream course,
  • River corridor boundary,
  • FEMA floodway boundary,
  • FEMA SFHA boundary,
  • Base flood elevation,
  • impacts (cut/fill, armoring, etc.) and square feet of impact,
  • stream crossing structure dimensions

Criterion Specific Narrative Information

Describe activities occurring in the floodway (cuts/fills, grading, berms, infrastructure, areas of compensatory storage)

Policy/Guidance Documents & Rules

DEC Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Protection Procedure

ANR Permits/Approvals

Dam Permit, FHARC Permit or review letter by Program, Stream Alteration Permit

Examples of Project Types

Any project in or near a stream or river, located in the river corridor, and/or FEMA special flood hazard area or floodway. 

 

Criterion 1E - Streams

Description/Review

Riparian zones are areas along streams and rivers. Undisturbed, naturally vegetated riparian zones offer numerous water quality and habitat benefits. When project activities are located near streams, the Agency reviews projects for conformance with the Agency’s Guidance for Agency Act 250 and Section 248 Comments Regarding Riparian Buffers (Guidance). The Guidance typically recommends undisturbed riparian zones of 50’ or 100’ depending on the characteristics of the watercourse.

ANR Atlas Layers

Intermittent and perennial streams

ANR Technical Program

DFW Fisheries Program

Criterion Specific Site Plan Information

  • Stream course,
  • Top of bank or slope,
  • 50'/100' riparian zone from top of bank/slope or wetland boundary if stream flows through wetland ** in accordance w/Guidance,
  • impact area and square feet remaining after demonstrating avoidance/minimization measures,
  • EPSC measures,
  • Any stream crossing structure dimensions

Criterion Specific Narrative Information

Describe activities occurring in and adjacent to riparian zone (existing, proposed, construction, ongoing operations/vegetation management), proposed steps to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts (plantings etc.) to riparian zone. Demarcation techniques of riparian zone (signage, fencing, boulders etc.)

Policy/Guidance Documents & Rules

Guidance for Agency Act 250 and Section 248 Comments Regarding Riparian Buffers (2005)

Planting Guidance for the Revegetation of Riparian Areas in Vermont (2016)

ANR Permits/Approvals

Riparian Management Plan and/or review letter from DFW Fisheries Program

 

Criterion 1F - Shorelines (Lakes, Ponds, and Rivers) 

Description/Review

Riparian zones are areas along rivers, lakes and ponds. Undisturbed, naturally vegetated riparian zones offer numerous water quality and habitat benefits. When project activities are located in or near rivers, lakes and ponds, the Agency reviews projects for conformance with the Agency’s Guidance for Agency Act 250 and Section 248 Comments Regarding Riparian Buffers (Guidance). The Guidance typically recommends undisturbed riparian zones of 100’ depending on the characteristics of the waterbody.

ANR Atlas Layers

Waterbody, Protected Shoreline Areas

ANR Technical Program

DFW Fisheries Program, ANR Office of Planning

Criterion Specific Site Plan Information

Mean water level, waterbody boundary, wetland boundary if wetlands are on waters edge, 100' riparian zone, water access, impact areas and square feet remaining after demonstrating avoidance/minimization measures EPSC measures

Criterion Specific Narrative Information

Describe activities occurring in riparian zone (existing, proposed, construction, ongoing operations/vegetation management), proposed steps to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts (plantings etc.) to riparian zone.

Policy/Guidance Documents & Rules

Guidance for Agency Act 250 and Section 248 Comments Regarding Riparian Buffers (2005)

Planting Guidance for the Revegetation of Riparian Areas in Vermont (2016)

ANR Permits/Approvals

Riparian Management Plan and/or review letter from DFW Fisheries Program