Whose Plan Is It?
In 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the phosphorus TMDL for Lake Champlain developed jointly by the States of Vermont and New York. In a 2011 settlement of a lawsuit brought against the EPA, the agency disapproved the Vermont portion of the TMDL.
At this time the original TMDL for the New York portion of the lake and plan for implementing practices that would achieve its goals remained in place. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation expects to update their TMDL and implementation plan by 2025.
When the EPA disallowed the Vermont portion of the 2002 TMDL, they assumed responsibility for developing a new TMDL. They worked with the State of Vermont to develop new limits and a new TMDL was released in 2016.
Vermont has developed a detailed and comprehensive two-phase implementation plan for achieving the goals of the new TMDL. The plan includes milestones for accountability and requires period reporting to EPA on progress.
State and federal agencies are responsible for overseeing the plan, but we all can take action to help achieve its goals!