Transfer of Certain Rulemaking Authority from the Water Resources Panel to the Agency of Natural Resources
In May 2012, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 138, which transfers certain rulemaking authority from the Water Resources Panel of the Vermont Natural Resources Board to the Agency of Natural Resources. The Agency is now responsible for rulemaking concerning the Vermont Water Quality Standards, Vermont Wetland Rules, Vermont Use of Public Water Rules, Vermont Surface Level Rules and the Vermont Rules Determining Mean Water Levels. Act 138 also transferred rulemaking authority to the Agency to designate Class I wetlands and Outstanding Resource Waters. These two designation processes provide enhanced protections for significant wetlands and waters. All of these rules will be administered and applied by the Watershed Management Division in its water-related permits programs.
As the successor of the Water Resources Panel’s rulemaking functions, the Agency will provide a forum for meaningful citizen involvement in the development of these rules. Act 138 specifically requires that the Agency engage in expanded public participation processes with affected stakeholders and other interested persons during rulemaking.
Until such time as the Agency develops its own procedures or rules to govern this new rulemaking authority, Act 138 provides that the rules of the Water Resources Panel issued pursuant to 10 V.S.A. §6025(d), as that statute and those rules existed prior to the enactment of Act 138, are deemed rules of the Agency. Persons wishing to petition the Agency for rulemaking should consult the Panel’s Rule of Procedures for direction on the petition process.
Any questions related to this transfer of rulemaking authority or the rulemaking process should be directed to Leslie Welts, Staff Attorney for the Watershed Management Division at 802-490-6103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.