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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 notes the opportunities for public engagement.  As illustrated in the timetable, EPA is expected to approve the final restoration plan in June 2015.

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

Vermont's Clean Water Initiative NEW Nov. 17, 2014  PDF 1.46 MB

Vermont's Clean Water Initiative Press Release NEW Nov. 17, 2014  PDF 194 KB

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 PDF 564 KB
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Forest Lands Management PDF 600 KB
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-River and Floodplain Protection PDF 644 KB
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Road Related Stormwater Management PDF 582 KB
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Stormwater Management PDF 667 KB
Lake Champlain TMDL Factsheet-Wetlands Management PDF 552 KB

EPA Announces Joint Public Meetings to Discuss Next Steps in Vermont's Lake Champlain Cleanup Effort Nov. 4, 2014

November 2014
Public Meetings to Discuss Next Steps in Vermont's
Lake Champlain Cleanup Effort
Nov. 17, 2014 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Rutland - Fox Room,
Rutland Free Library
10 Court Street

Nov. 17, 2014 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Middlebury - Middlebury Inn
14 Court Square Road

Nov. 18, 2014 2:00 - 4:00 pm

St. Albans - Bliss Room,
St Albans Historical Society
9 Church Street

Nov. 19, 2014 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Burlington - Doubletree Hotel
1117 Williston Road

Governor's Commitment Letter to EPA, May 29, 2014 May 29, 2014, PDF 304 KB

Vermont Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Phase 1 Implementation Plan, May 29, 2014 May 29, 2014, PDF 9527 KB

EPA Response Letter 5/8/14 PDF 4373 KB

DRAFT EPA Lake Champlain Phosphorus TMDL Vermont Phase 1 Plan March 31, 2014, PDF 3198 KB

Phase I - Lake Champlain TMDL Implementation Plan - Presentation May 29, 2014, PDF 4065 KB

Nov. 20, 2013 Draft Proposal:

Draft State of Vermont Proposal for a Clean Lake Champlain 394KB PDF

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   2665KB PDF

>>> EPA Supplemental Letter to Vermont DEC and Vermont AAFM dated Feb. 13, 2014   365KB PDF

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

April 1, 2014: Final Summary of Public Comments - Draft Champlain TMDL 941KB PDF

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 PDF

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



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

2013-2036 Timeline for Completing the Lake Champlain Restoration Plan (Phosphorus TMDL) Including Opportunities for Public Comment 183KB PDF

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

The State of Vermont collected comments raised during the public meetings scheduled in December 2013 and January 2014 in preparation of a final set of policy commitments for restoring Lake Champlain.  Written and electronic comments on the document entitled, “Draft State of Vermont Proposal for a Clean Lake Champlain" were due by 4:30pm on Friday, January 17, 2014. Comments were submitted to:





Kari Dolan, Manager, Ecosystem Restoration Program
Department of Environmental Conservation Watershed Management Division
1 National Life Drive, Main 2
Montpelier, VT  05620-3522

View submitted comments on the Draft Proposal



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


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