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American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) 3-Acre Funding Programs

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding Overview and Background

The Vermont General Assembly has allocated $36 million to help Vermont citizens and businesses comply with the “Three-Acre Permit” to reduce water pollution through stormwater treatment. Visit the ARPA in Vermont webpage for more information on ARPA funding opportunities.

Three-Acre Permit Background—Your Role Improving Vermont’s Water Quality

Act 64 of 2015, commonly referred to as the “Vermont Clean Water Act,” signed into law June 2015, mandates that the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issue new clean water regulations. The regulations are intended to achieve the phosphorus pollution reductions required for Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog to meet water quality standards, outlined in restoration plans know as Total Maximum Daily Loads or “TMDLs.” 

Act 64 requires discharge from sites with “impervious surfaces of three or more acres,” known as “3-acre sites” to secure coverage of the General Permit 3-9050, known as the “Three-Acre Permit” through the DEC’s Stormwater Program. 3-acre sites are required to treat stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces—hard surfaces such as roof tops, roads, and parking areas—and reduce pollution entering our waters. Visit the DEC Stormwater Program’s Stormwater General Permit 3-9050 webpage for more information.

3-Acre Funding and Support Programs

It will cost approximately $260 million to implement the Three-Acre Permit requirements in the Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog basins. A significant ARPA investment will support and accelerate this work. 

The initial $36 million available through ARPA will provide 3-acre landowners and municipalities with technical and financial assistance to achieve Three-Acre Permit obtainment and construction to comply with the permit. Assistance is currently available through the following programs. 

Available ARPA 3-Acre Funding Programs:

Sign up here to receive ARPA 3-Acre Stormwater funding updates (opens in new tab)

Contact Madeline Russell, ANR's ARPA 3-Acre Funding Coordinator, if you have questions or would like to share feedback: | 802-261-5739

3-Acre Funding Program Equity Considerations

ARPA 3-Acre funds will help disadvantaged communities address the public health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and help protect them from future crises. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation will prioritize inclusion and engagement with under-represented groups to advance environmental justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through design and delivery.

3-Acre Permit Obtainment Assistance (POA) Program

Deadline to apply is October 31, 2024, but we strongly urge sites to apply no later than September 30, 2024

  • The Permit Obtainment Assistance (POA) program is a beneficiary program that provides financial assistance to eligible 3-acre sites seeking to obtain Three-Acre Permit coverage. 
  • Eligible projects include all 3-acre sites located in the Lake Memphremagog, Lake Champlain, and stormwater impaired basins except:
    • State and federally owned properties 
    • Manufactured Housing Communities (MHCs) participating in state-provided 3-acre permit engineering services 
    • Public schools eligible to participate in the Green Schools Initiative 
    • Businesses that do not attest they are a "small business enterprise"
    • 3-acre sites that have been integrated into a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit phosphorus reduction target. (These sites are no longer subject to the Three-Acre Permit standards or timeline and are therefore ineligible to receive this assistance.)  Landowners located within an MS4 community may consult with their municipal representatives to confirm if their site is integrated into the applicable MS4 permit. See list of MS4 communities here.
  • All qualifying sites will be eligible for up to $49,999 in beneficiary payments. Up to $19,999 is reserved for permit review costs incurred during the Full Notice of Intent (NOI) (i.e., final permit application/authorization) submission and review process. Up to $30,000 is reserved for engineering costs/invoices. (Note: MHCs are not subject to these cost caps within the $49,999 total.) 
  • Eligible sites that have already applied for Three-Acre Permit coverage (i.e., Full NOI submittal) may be reimbursed for costs incurred following Three-Acre Permit obtainment/authorization, as long as all work occurred on/after March 3, 2021.
  • Eligible sites that have not yet submitted a Three-Acre Permit application (i.e., Full NOI submittal) may invoice periodically while their Three-Acre Permit project is in progress.
  • Eligible sites can apply for this program through our ARPA 3-Acre Permit Assistance Form at ANR Online. The review process for applications may take up to 4 weeks.  Applications must be submitted by October 31, 2024.
  • Following application submittal, eligible sites will receive an award notification. Sites that are deemed eligible will receive an award letter outlining additional details and requirements for this beneficiary program.
  • Helpful Resources:

3-Acre Permit Obtainment Assistance Webinar – February 5, 2024, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

  • Meeting Purpose: The Three Acre Permit Assistance Program team will introduce and answer questions about the POA program in this webinar. The team will give an overview of what participants can expect from the program and instructions on the application process. Attendees can ask questions in the Q&A portion of the webinar.
  • Materials: Webinar Slide Deck & Webinar Recording

Contact with questions (please include subject line “2/5 POA Webinar”).

Permit Obtainment Engineering Services for Manufactured Housing Communities (MHC)

  • For 3-acre MHCs that chose to receive engineering services that result in obtaining the 3-acre permit at no cost to the MHC.
  • Program Process:
    • A request for proposals was released inviting engineering firms to indicate their interest in providing Three-Acre Permit obtainment services for MHCs signed up for this program.
    • This work commenced in early 2023. Participating MHCs were connected to the selected engineer and design and permitting work is ongoing.
    • The engineer works with each MHC to gather the information needed to put together a Three-Acre Permit application (a Full Notice of Intent). The engineer will then submit the Full NOI to the DEC Stormwater Program on the MHC’s behalf.
    • The state pays the engineer directly for their work related to the MHC’s Three-Acre Permit obtainment.

Public-Private Partnership Projects

  • DEC issued a request for proposals for up to 10 large individual grants to design and construct stormwater treatment practices to comply with the Three-Acre Permit. Projects are “public-private partnerships” that serve the joint needs of private landowners and their sponsoring municipalities to comply with the Three-Acre Permit.
  • The ten eligible projects were identified through a Lake Champlain Basin Program-funded DEC-managed public-private partnership assessment (explore the 3-acre public-private partnership projects here). Seven projects were selected for funding and are in process.