Six schools in Vermont’s Champlain Valley School District will need to meet new standards for storm water drainage.
According to the Williston Observer, these schools are among the 70 Vermont schools and colleges that need to improve their storm water management infrastructure under the Vermont Clean Water Act of 2015.
As a result of the new standards, the schools will need a 3-acre general permit that applies to all properties that have 3 or more acres of paved or roofed surfaces. The new storm water rules will also update the permits that were issued under standards prior to 2002 and give permits to properties that do not currently have storm water permits, reported the Williston Observer.
Most of the public schools in the Lake Champlain basin are candidates for the permit because of their large parking lots, sidewalks and buildings. State regulators believe these schools might need help applying for a new storm water permit and designing storm water treatment systems according to the new standards, reported the Williston Observer.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recruited an engineering firm to oversee an assistance program.
According to the Williston Observer, the DEC had about $2 million in grants for storm water drainage improvements and awarded the funds to GreenPrint Partners to distribute to schools where the permit applies.
“Our main focus is putting more green infrastructure in the ground,” said Laura Kenney of GreenPrint Partners, reported the Williston Observer. “We match schools that have enrolled for assistance through the Vermont Green Schools Initiative with local Vermont vendors, contractors and design firms — people that are able to help the schools meet the new permit requirements.”
Schools that applied for assistance are still in phase one of the initiative which includes the design, planning and permitting phase. Construction on the school properties will begin as soon as plans are approved and funding is in place.
According to state regulators, they initially estimated that 47 schools would sign up with GreenPrint Partners for designing and permitting assistance, however 65 schools have applied.
State regulators anticipate awarding $30,000 grants to every school that applied, but some schools needed more and some less funding based, reported the Williston Observer.