Preserving the Environment

 
Partnerships & Collaboration to Combat Climate Change
Working to Lower Emissions and Increase Energy Efficiency
  • Committed to Vermont's goal of achieving 90% renewable energy by 2050.
    • Vermont has experienced unprecedented growth in renewable generation, especially solar, during the past 18 months and now has almost 300 MW of solar PV relative to a statewide peak of just over 900 MW. 
  • Committed to investing $2.8 million from the Volkswagen Settlement Fund to the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations in Vermont.
  • Proposed and passed a $200,000 allocation to DEC’s wood stove changeout program to help Vermonters transition to more efficient heaters.
  • Proposed and passed changes to existing law, simplifying the billing process and improving price clarity for electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Expanded the SMEEP and Energy Savings Accounts Account programs to make it easier for Vermont’s larger companies to invest in improving energy efficiency of their Vermont facilities.
  • Called for a recommendation by the Public Service Department or the Public Utility Commission to mitigate technical barriers to plug-in electric vehicle charging.
  • Support the Attorney General in challenging EPA’s decision to rollback Green House Gas emissions standards for light-duty vehicles and defending Vermont’s legal right to adopt more stringent motor vehicle emissions standards.
  • The Administration is working with utilities and advocates on rate design to provide better signals for integration of renewable energy and to increase adoption of promising clean energy technologies in transportation and buildings (electric vehicles and heat pumps).
  • Completed major investigations into clean energy pathways, including battery storage systems and cold climate heat pump systems. Conducting an ongoing collaboration and investigation advances in clean energy finance.   
  • Implemented the Renewable Energy Standard that first took effect as a standard in 2017. The standard requires utilities to be 55% renewable and established a program that has Vermont utilities help customers transition away from fossil fuels for heating and transportation. The Vermont standard is among the most ambitious renewable standard in the US. 
  • Signed into law and working to implement two initiatives from the Legislature (Act 42 and Act 139) improving major appliance efficiency standards. 
Protecting and Improving our Waterways
  • Fully funded clean water initiatives for FY18 and FY19 at the level recommended by the Treasurer in her January 2017 report. This investment represented a full 70% increase in clean water funding over FY16 and 17 levels.
  • As proposed by the Legislature and supported by the Administration, beginning in FY20, revenue from abandoned beverage container deposits, expected to generate $1.5 to $2 million annually, will be directed to the Clean Water Fund.
  • Total clean water spending by the state in FY19 is nearly $58 million; State monies are going to:
    • Municipal wastewater and stormwater infrastructure ($15.3 million);
    • ANR Grants for developed lands, local roads, and natural resources projects ($10.6 million);
    • VTrans Grants for Municipal roads ($11 million);
    • VTrans Budget for State highways stormwater compliance ($5 million);
    • The Agency of Agriculture (AAFM) Grants and contracts for agriculture ($7 million);
    • VHCB wetlands and farming easements and agricultural water quality improvements ($4 million);
    • ACCD grants, in partnership with ANR and VTrans, to incorporate stormwater controls in downtown transportation improvements ($200,000);
    • Incentive payments to municipalities to establish stormwater utilities to locally fund municipal stormwater controls ($100,000); and
    • In cooperation with Senator Leahy’s Office, the State secured an additional $3.4 million in federal funds to restore Lake Champlain through agriculture, stormwater, and wastewater phosphorus controls, and through natural resources restoration.
  • Efforts to restore Lake Carmi:
  • Cross-agency collaboration to write the Crisis Response Plan, required by Act 168.
  • Proceeding with plans for an in-lake treatment, since modeling demonstrates that partners are close to meeting target reductions in phosphorus loading from the watershed.
  • Contracted with a team of consultants to evaluate alternative approaches to reducing internal loading, with the ultimate goal of reducing the frequency and intensity of cyanobacteria blooms.
  • An initial scoping report considered a range of possible treatments, from chemical treatments such as alum or PhosLock to artificial circulation. The report concluded by recommending two approaches to aeration: diffused air circulation or downdraft pumping.
    • Modeling and design of the aeration project are underway.
    • State funding is available for installation of the aeration project in 2018 ($1.6 million).
  • Work by partners to reduce nutrient runoff from the Lake Carmi watershed will continue across all sectors, in accordance with the Vermont Clean Water Act and the Lake Champlain TMDL Phase I Implementation Plan.
  • Facilitated farmer planning meetings in the watershed to strategize additional efforts to improve agricultural water quality in the Carmi Watershed. Following these meetings, efforts by UVM Extension, funded by NRCS, documented that over 1500 acres of conservation practices have been implemented in the Lake Carmi watershed since 2010, including: installation of buffers on ditches and surface waters, manure injection, crop rotation, cover cropping, and the implementation of conservation tillage.
  • Provided grant funding to a farmer to remediate a pond with legacy phosphorus;
  • Provided grant funding to the Franklin Watershed Committee to support education and outreach on agricultural conservation in the Carmi Watershed;
  • Provided grant funding to UVM Extension to purchase and deploy a grassland manure injector and flow meter to improve manure and nutrient applications in the Carmi Watershed.
  • Launched the "Phosphorous Innovation Challenge,” a reverse-pitch competition which would incentivize the creation of commercial operations to capture excess phosphorous from manure before it is applied to land and convert it to a scalable product. Through this approach, we have the opportunity for a solution that addresses our phosphorus imbalance in an innovative manner.

Contact Information

Office of Governor Phil Scott
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609
Phone: 802 828-3333 (TTY: 800 649-6825)
Fax: 802 828-3339

Public Records Database and Agency Records Officer or Liaison Contact Information

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