Agency Secretary will Host Public Meeting to Provide Details on $100 Million Available in Infrastructure and Water Quality Funding for Vermonters

September 24, 2021 - Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Secretary Julie Moore invites the public to join her on Thursday, October 7 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm to discuss a variety of environmental topics. The meeting will start with a conversation about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, where Secretary Moore will talk about ANR’s plan to invest approximately $100 million in ARPA funding in a variety of water infrastructure projects.

“This funding offers Vermont an unprecedented opportunity to make significant investments in critical infrastructure to support water and sewer systems, affordable housing, and water quality improvements,” said ANR Secretary Julie Moore. “Together, these projects will spur transformational change here in Vermont.”

Earlier this year, the federal government committed $1.9 trillion nationally in ARPA funds to address the public health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes money to invest in broadband, water and sewer infrastructure, and assistance for economically disadvantaged communities to help protect them from future crises. The State of Vermont will receive more than $2.7 billion in ARPA funds.

ARPA funding administered by the Vermont Agency of Natural resources will primarily support water quality projects. ANR will administer funding to towns, commercial entities, and individuals. The funding will support five priority areas:

  • Pretreatment: Pretreatment removes harmful pollutants in wastewater before it is discharged to a municipal sewer system. Funding will support municipal wastewater treatment facilities to manage incoming loads and help private enterprises expand their operations responsibly.
  • Village water & sewer infrastructure: This funding will be invested in community sewer and drinking water systems in some of the more than 200 villages that currently lack such systems.
  • Eliminating sewer overflows: This funding will help eligible municipalities implement their plan to eliminate sewer overflows within their community. 
  • Treat stormwater runoff: Vermonters with properties that contain three or more acres of impervious surface (e.g. gravel, pavement, roofs) are required to treat stormwater runoff from these parcels. These funds will help property owners meet these requirements.
  • Healthy Homes: Funding will be provided to eligible mobile home parks and low-income homeowners to repair or replace failed water and sewer infrastructure such as wells and septic systems.

Supporting healthy homes is one example of a priority funding area. During the pandemic, some low-income Vermont homeowners saw their income disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Coupled with that, some also had their wells or septic tanks and leach fields fail. Many of these residents are not able to pay for system replacement or repairs.  

“For people living with a failed septic system or well, they know that they have an expensive problem and can feel powerless to change the situation,” said Secretary Moore. “Providing these funds to individuals to cover design and construction and by having a sliding scale for assistance empowers property owners to solve the situation.”

At the meeting, Secretary Moore will be joined by Billy Coster, Director of Planning for ANR and Neil Kamman, Water Investment Division Director for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Together, they will talk about the types of funding available to towns, businesses and individuals and provide more information about regulatory requirements.

After an initial discussion about ARPA, Secretary Moore will open the floor to answer questions from attendees. The Secretary encourages attendees to bring any questions they have about Vermont’s natural resources. The meeting will be held online via Microsoft Teams (link) and in-person at the Agency of Natural Resources main office, located in Davis Building 2 at One National Life Drive, Montpelier, VT 05602. To join by phone, please call 802-828-7667 and enter the Phone Conference ID: 372 122 774#. If you need translation services or other hearing or language accommodations, please email elle.ocasey@vermont.gov or call 802-760-9967.