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Winter Construction Activities Must Take Measures to Protect Clean Water

For Immediate Release

Tom Benoit, Construction Section Supervisor
Department of Environmental Conservation

Montpelier, VT, November 18, 2022 – With winter construction season underway, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wants to remind Vermonters about additional requirements to help protect the state’s waterways.

“We understand that managing construction sites to protect water quality is a year-round challenge. Winter rainfall, thaws, and snowmelt lead to water flowing over frozen and saturated grounds,” said DEC Commissioner John Beling. “Therefore, it’s key to use measures that reduce erosion and keep soil on construction sites.”

From October 15 to April 15, construction activities may require coverage under the Vermont Construction General Permit 3-9020 ( when total land disturbance is:

  • Equal to or greater than 1 acre, or
  • Less than 1 acre – but is part of a larger common plan of development – if the larger development will ultimately result in the disturbance of 1 or more acres.

Permittees must also have an Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control (EPSC) plan that addresses winter construction. From making access points wider to covering exposed soils with stone, measures in the EPSC plan must follow the Vermont Standards and Specifications (

“In the winter, frozen soils limit which measures permittees can take to reduce erosion. Without measures like seeding exposed areas or adding silt fences, permittees need a feasible and effective EPSC plan,” said Beling. “That’s why DEC offers resources to help Vermonters understand the full suite of measures, follow the permit requirements, and protect our waterways.”

To learn more, interested parties may view the permit application instructions ( or the Low Risk Site Handbook ( If a permittee did not specify winter construction activity in their application, they must file a Notice of Winter Construction form (

The DEC Stormwater Management Program ( oversees regulations and offers technical assistance for stormwater management. If Tom Benoit is not available, contact Taylor Flanagan at 802-490-6167 or