§1418. Groundwater withdrawal permit

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/10/048/01418
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Title

10

:
Conservation and Development






Chapter

048

:
GROUNDWATER PROTECTION






Subchapter

006
:
GROUNDWATER WITHDRAWAL PROGRAM










 

§

1418. Groundwater withdrawal permit

(a) On and after

July 1, 2010, no person, for commercial or industrial uses, shall make a new or

increased groundwater withdrawal of more than 57,600 gallons a day from any

well or spring on a single tract of land or at a place of business without

first receiving from the secretary of natural resources a groundwater

withdrawal permit. The following shall constitute a "new or increased

withdrawal":

(1) The

expansion of any existing withdrawal through:

(A) additional

withdrawal from one or more new wells or springs; or

(B) an increase

in the rate of withdrawal from a well or spring above the maximum rate set

forth in any existing permit issued by the secretary of natural resources under

this section; or

(2) For

previously unpermitted withdrawals, an increase in the rate of withdrawal after

July 1, 2010 from a well or spring on a single tract of land or at a place of

business of 25 percent of the baseline withdrawal or an increase of 57,600

gallons of groundwater withdrawn, whichever is smaller.

(3) For the

purposes of this subsection, the baseline withdrawal shall be the highest

amount withdrawn by a person between 2005 and 2010.

(b) The

following are exempt from the permitting requirements of this section:

(1) a groundwater

withdrawal for fire suppression or other public emergency purpose;

(2) domestic,

residential use;

(3) groundwater

withdrawal for farming;

(4) dairy

processors and milk handlers licensed in accordance with 6 V.S.A. § 2721;

(5) public water

systems, as that term is defined in section 1671 of this title; and

(6) closed loop,

standing column, or similar non-extractive geothermal heat pumps.

(c)(1) At least

30 days before filing an application for a permit under this section, the

applicant shall hold an informational hearing in the municipality in which the

withdrawal is proposed in order to describe the proposed project and to hear

comments regarding the proposed project. Public notice shall be given by

posting in the municipal offices of the town in which the withdrawal is

proposed and by publishing in a local newspaper at least 10 days before the

meeting.

(2) On or before

the date of filing with the secretary of natural resources an application for a

permit under this section, an applicant for a withdrawal under this section

shall notify:

(A) the clerk,

legislative body, and any conservation commission in the municipality in which

the proposed withdrawal is located;

(B) adjoining

municipalities;

(C) the regional

planning commission in the region where the proposed withdrawal is located;

(D) all

landowners and mobile home park residents within the zone of influence of a

groundwater withdrawal or within one quarter mile downstream from a withdrawal

from a spring. Notice to the officers of a condominium association shall be

deemed sufficient under this subdivision for notice to residents of a

condominium; and

(E) any public

water systems permitted by the agency of natural resources in the municipality

where the proposed withdrawal is located.

(3) The

applicant shall publish notice of the application in a newspaper of general

circulation in the area in which the withdrawal is proposed and shall post a

copy of the notice in the municipal clerk's office in the municipality in which

the withdrawal is located.

(4) On its own

motion or on receipt of a written request, the agency shall hold a public

meeting in the municipality in which the withdrawal is proposed in order to

describe the proposed project and to hear comments regarding the proposed

project. Opportunity shall be given all participants at a public meeting to ask

questions and comment on all issues involved. The agency shall prepare a

responsiveness summary for each public meeting conducted. Public notice shall

be given by posting in the municipal offices of the town in which the

withdrawal is proposed and by publishing in a local newspaper at least 10 days

before the meeting.

(5) No defect in

the form or substance of any notice requirements in subdivision (1), (2), (3),

or (4) of this subsection shall invalidate an application for a permit under

this section provided that reasonable efforts are made to provide adequate

posting and notice. An application for a permit under this section shall be

invalid when a defective posting or notice was materially misleading in

content. If an action is ruled to be invalid by the environmental division, the

applicant may reapply and provide new posting and notice.

(d) Application

for a permit shall be on a form prepared by the secretary. An application

shall, at a minimum, contain the information necessary to make the

determinations contained in subsection (e) of this section, and the following:

(1) the purpose

for the withdrawal;

(2) the location

and source of the withdrawal;

(3) the amount

of the proposed withdrawal, including estimates of the projected mean and peak

daily, monthly, and annual withdrawals;

(4) the place of

the proposed return flow of withdrawn water;

(5) the

estimated amount of water that will not be returned to the watershed where the

proposed withdrawal is located;

(6) the

location, demand on, and yield of existing sources of groundwater and surface

water utilized by the applicant; and

(7) a brief

description of the alternative means considered for satisfying the applicant's stated

use for water.

(e) The

secretary shall not issue a permit for a new or increased groundwater

withdrawal unless the secretary determines:

(1) that the

proposed withdrawal is planned in a fashion that provides for efficient use of

the water;

(2) that the

proposed withdrawal, in combination with other existing withdrawals, will meet

the standards set by the secretary of natural resources in rule for

establishing a safe yield in the area of the withdrawal;

(3) that the

proposed withdrawal is consistent with the town or regional plan in which the

proposed withdrawal is located, and with any duly adopted state policy to

manage groundwater as a shared resource for the benefit of all citizens of the

state, including any policies and programs of the state of Vermont regarding

long-range planning, management, allocation, and use of groundwater and surface

water in effect at the time the application for the withdrawal is filed;

(4) that the

proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on existing uses of

water dependent on the same water source;

(5) that the

proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on a public water

system permitted by the agency of natural resources;

(6) that the

proposed withdrawal will not have an undue adverse effect on significant

wetlands under the Vermont wetland rules or on other water resources

hydrologically interconnected with the well or spring from which the proposed

withdrawal would be made;

(7) that the

proposed withdrawal will not violate the Vermont water quality standards; and

(8) any other

consideration that the secretary determines necessary for the conservation of

water or protection of groundwater quality.

(f) A permit

issued under this section shall be valid for the period of time specified in

the permit but not for more than 10 years. A permit issued under this section

shall include the following:

(1) that

groundwater withdrawals from a well or spring for drinking water supplies,

farming, or dairy processing shall be given priority over other uses during

times of shortage; and

(2) any other

condition that the secretary determines necessary for the conservation of water

or protection of groundwater quality.

(g) The

secretary may require any person withdrawing groundwater in the state to obtain

a permit under this section if the withdrawal is not exempt under subsection

(b) of this section and the secretary determines that the withdrawal violates

the Vermont water quality standards or has an undue adverse effect on an

existing use of groundwater, a public water system permitted by the agency of

natural resources, wetlands, or water resources hydrologically interconnected

with the well or spring from which the withdrawal occurs. The secretary shall

make a determination under this section based on review of the information set

forth under subsection (d) of this section that is readily available to the

secretary.

(h) A withdrawal

permit issued under this section may be transferred upon a change of ownership

of the facility or project for which the permit was issued, provided that the

new owner applies for an administrative amendment to the permit certifying its

agreement to comply with all terms and conditions of the transferred permit and

assume all other associated obligations.

(i) The

following groundwater withdrawals shall be deemed to comply with the public

trust requirements of the state for groundwater management and shall be

entitled to a presumption that the withdrawal complies with the public trust

requirements of the state:

(1) A

groundwater withdrawal permitted under this section;

(2) A

groundwater withdrawal for domestic, residential use;

(3) A

groundwater withdrawal for public water systems, except for a bottled water

facility operating under a source permit issued prior to the effective date of

this act, permitted under chapter 56 of this title;

(4) A

groundwater withdrawal for a potable water supply permitted under chapter 64 of

this title;

(5) A

groundwater withdrawal for farming conducted in compliance with the

requirements of chapter 215 of Title 6; and

(6) A

groundwater withdrawal by a dairy processor or milk handler licensed in

accordance with 6 V.S.A. § 2721.

(j) On or before

July 1, 2010, the secretary shall adopt rules to implement this section. When

rules are adopted by the secretary under this section, section 1415 of this

title shall be repealed. The rules adopted under this section shall include:

(1) requirements

for the mitigation of an undue adverse effect on drinking water supplies,

farming, public water systems, or any other affected use when the secretary

determines such an undue adverse effect is likely to occur due to a proposed

withdrawal;

(2) requirements

for the renewal of permits issued under this section.

(k) Nothing

contained in this subchapter shall be construed to alter or modify a right

under a deed or contract to access groundwater in this state. (Added 2007, No.

199 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. June 9, 2008; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), §

236.)
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