Dear Members and Friends,
Please find in the following an update on the status of the legislation which we’ve been encouraging the membership to review:
- H.526 An act relating to the establishment of lake shoreland protection standards
We convened as many of the trustees as available on Saturday afternoon (April 6) to discuss the status and an update for those who would be directly impacted by the legislation.
The status is H.526 has been voted on and passed the VT house and will be reviewed by committee in the Senate. Today it is unclear how the voting will go in committee. A review of the bill is on the schedule for next week.
The ad-hoc committee of trustees that has formed, to which I as Legislative chair am explicitly grateful to, has the following observation: the bill H.526 as approved has been amended to address some concerns that were voiced with the original bill and to this we applaud our representative(s) for listening and working hard to find solutions. However, there continue to be fundamental apprehensions about the legislation.
- Statewide regulation – the result is a loss of local control to address local issues. The legislation is presented as one size fits all. What has been tossed around is our lakes are not Lake Champlain.
- Enforcement – this item has not been addressed, and as evidenced by reducing dollars for battling invasive species (Milfoil) and other EPA infractions (wetlands encroachment), it’s unclear new regulations will receive the required attention to have the desired impact.
- Impact of Stream and tributary runoff – the legislation doesn’t address the “nutrients and sediment” that results in the lakes from these sources.
So, we believe that our efforts to date have generated due respect and appreciation for the issues of property owners by the legislature, but now we have a new audience to review the policy and must continue to be vocal with our opinions on the legislation.
We hope the continued updates help you understand the issue and speed, which this is moving. We welcome the feedback from the membership that has been received and would appreciate any help you could provide to notify the boarder community about this and call or mail a note to your senator with your comments on H.526.
Spring is coming slowly as Lord Dunmore observed the dip!