wsmd home
public notices
dec home > wsmd home > erp home > restoring lake champlain
Restoring Lake Champlain


Southern Lake Champlain view

Vermonters love Lake Champlain.  Many refer to the Lake as the region’s crown jewel.  We depend on the Lake for fishing, swimming, boating and other recreational pursuits.  It provides drinking water. Summer tourism and property values are tied to its health and beauty.  The Lake attracts businesses with a work force that appreciates the Lake’s natural beauty and Vermont’s working landscape. 

The challenge is that too much pollution is reaching Lake Champlain from the streams and rivers draining into it.  The primary concern is polluted runoff -- rainwater or snowmelt that drains off of parking lots, roads and streets, logging roads, farm fields and croplands, and lawns.  The runoff carries with it sediment, nutrients such as phosphorus that are naturally present in soils, pet and animal wastes, fertilizers, and other pollutants and deposits these pollutants into streams and rivers or directly into Lake Champlain.


Quick Links

Phosphorus is one of the nutrient pollutants found in runoff and arguably the greatest threat to clean water in Lake Champlain. It also comes from eroding streambanks caused by stream channel instability. Too much phosphorus pollution stimulates excessive growth of algae.  It can turn Lake Champlain water green, and even can be toxic to pets and people.

The State of Vermont and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are in the process of developing and implementing a new restoration plan for Lake Champlain and its tributaries.   The State of Vermont and EPA are seeking public involvement throughout in this process, to help the state formulate the solutions and implement the plan when completed.  Please see the Timeline that outlines the process and note the opportunities for public engagement.  As illustrated in the timetable, EPA is expected to approve the final restoration plan in November 2015.

MOU on Environmental Cooperation on the Management of Lake Champlain

EPA web site: The Vermont Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL being developed by EPA exit DEC website

EPA TMDL Presentation at August 2015 Public Meetings August 2015  

EPA TMDL Presentation at November 2014 Public Meetings November 2014   

Vermont's Clean Water Initiative Nov. 17, 2014  

Vermont's Clean Water Initiative Press Release Nov. 17, 2014  

Factsheets that summarize key actions described in the Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Phase 1 Implementation Plan:   Nov. 10, 2014

Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Agriculture Lands Management 
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Forest Lands Management 
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-River and Floodplain Protection 
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Road Related Stormwater Management 
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Stormwater Management 
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Wetlands Management 

Governor's Commitment Letter to EPA, May 29, 2014 May 29, 2014

Vermont Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Phase 1 Implementation Plan, May 29, 2014 May 29, 2014

View Submitted Comments on Vermont Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Phase 1 Implementation Plan(Nov. 2014 - ongoing)

EPA Response Letter 5/8/14

DRAFT EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Vermont Phase 1 Plan March 31, 2014

Phase I - Lake Champlain TMDL Implementation Plan - Presentation May 29, 2014

DRAFT EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Vermont Phase 1 Plan  August 14, 2015

DRAFT EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Vermont Phase 1 Appendices August 14, 2015

Lake Champlain Basin Map

Lake Champlain Basin Map showing Vermont river basins. Click on image for larger size.

Nov. 20, 2013 Draft Proposal:

Draft State of Vermont Proposal for a Clean Lake Champlain

Information Regarding Submitting Comments on the Draft Proposal

>>> EPA Final Signed Letter to Vermont DEC on the Draft State of Vermont Proposal for a

Clean Lake Champlain dated January 17, 2014  

>>> EPA Supplemental Letter to Vermont DEC and Vermont AAFM dated Feb. 13, 2014  

Jan. 22, 2014: View submitted comments on the Draft Proposal

April 1, 2014: Final Summary of Public Comments - Draft Champlain TMDL

FAQs: Restoring Lake Champlain - Frequently Asked Questions

For Immediate Release: State and EPA Seek Public Input on Lake Champlain Cleanup Efforts Nov. 26, 2013 press release

See the Lake Champlain Basin Program's discussion, "Where Does the Phosphorus Come From?" on the LCBP web site. exit DEC website


EPA, VT DEC Press Release about August 2015 Public Meetings

August 2015 Public Meetings to Discuss the Final Draft of the Lake Champlain TMDL -
The Phosphorus Pollution Reduction Requirements for the Lake Champlain Basin



August 26, 2015


St. Albans

August 27, 2015


South Burlington

August 27, 2015





EPA Press Release on November 2014 Public Meetings
exit DEC website Nov. 4, 2014

November 2014
Public Meetings to Discuss
Next Steps in Vermont's Lake Champlain Cleanup Effort
Nov. 17, 2014


Nov. 17, 2014


Nov. 18, 2014

St. Albans

Nov. 19, 2014


January 2014
Meetings with Municipal Officials to Discuss
Draft Proposal for a Clean Lake Champlain
and Draft Statewide Clean Water Initiatives

(Sponsored by regional planning and development agencies)
Dec. 18, 2013     Swanton

January 6, 2014    


January 8, 2014    


January 9, 2014    

White River Junction

January 9, 2014    


January 10, 2014    


January 13, 2014    


January 14, 2014     Berlin

January 14, 2014     Swanton

January 15, 2014     Whiting

January 15, 2014     Morrisville

January 16, 2014     Jamaica

January 16, 2014     Arlington
December 2013
Public Meetings to Discuss
Lake Champlain Basin Phosphorus Cleanup Effort
December 2, 2013    

St. Albans

December 2, 2013    


December 3, 2013    


December 10, 2013    


December 10, 2013    


December 11, 2013    




Timeline: Updated September 2015

Timeline for Completing the Lake Champlain Restoration Plan (Phosphorus TMDL) Including Opportunities for Public Comment

Submitted Comments on Draft State of Vermont Proposal for a Clean Lake Champlain:

View Submitted Comments on the Draft Proposal January 2014

VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2  Montpelier, VT  05620-3522  Tele: 802-828-1535   Fax: 802-828-1544


State of Vermont Agencies & Depts.     Access Government 24/7     About Vermont.Gov     Privacy Policy

A Vermont Government Website Copyright 2003 State of Vermont - All rights reserved