§1021. Alteration prohibited; exceptions

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/10/041/01021
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Conservation and Development








1021. Alteration prohibited; exceptions

(a) A person

shall not change, alter, or modify the course, current, or cross section of any

watercourse or of designated outstanding resource waters, within or along the

boundaries of this State either by movement, fill, or excavation of ten cubic

yards or more of instream material in any year, unless authorized by the

Secretary. A person shall not establish or construct a berm in a flood hazard

area or river corridor, as those terms are defined in subdivisions 752(3) and

(11) of this title, unless permitted by the Secretary or constructed as an

emergency protective measure under subsection (b) of this section.

(b) The

requirements of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to emergency

protective measures necessary to preserve life or to prevent severe imminent

damage to public or private property, or both. The protective measures shall:

(1) be limited

to the minimum amount necessary to remove imminent threats to life or property;

(2) have prior

approval from a member of the municipal legislative body;

(3) be reported

to the Secretary by the legislative body within 24 hours after the onset of the

emergency; and

(4) be

implemented in a manner consistent with the general permit adopted under

section 1027 of this title regarding stream alteration during emergencies.

(c) No person

shall remove gravel from any watercourse primarily for construction or for



Notwithstanding subsection (c) of this section, a riparian owner may remove up

to 50 cubic yards of gravel per year from that portion of a watercourse running

through or bordering on the owner's property, provided:

(1) the material

shall be removed only for the owner's use on the owner's property;

(2) the material

removed shall be above the waterline;

(3) at least 72

hours prior to the removal of 10 cubic yards, or more, the landowner shall

notify the Secretary;

(4) however, if

the portion of the watercourse in question has been designated as outstanding

resource waters, then the riparian owner may so remove no more than 10 cubic

yards of gravel per year, and must notify the Secretary at least 72 hours prior

to the removal of any gravel.

(e) This

subchapter does not apply to dams subject to chapter 43 of this title nor to

highways or bridges subject to 19 V.S.A. § 10(12).

(f) This

subchapter shall not apply to:

(1) accepted

silvicultural practices, as defined by the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and

Recreation, including practices which are in compliance with the Acceptable

Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont,

as adopted by the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation; or

(2) a farm that

is implementing an approved U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource

Conservation Service streambank stabilization project or a streambank

stabilization project approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and

Markets that is consistent with policies adopted by the Secretary of Natural

Resources to reduce fluvial erosion hazards.

(g) Nothing in

this chapter shall prohibit, in the normal use of land, the fording of or

access to a watercourse by a person with the right or privilege to use the



Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, recreational mineral


(A) shall not

operate suction dredges in any watercourse;

(B) may operate

sluice boxes in any watercourse, provided:

(i) a request

for approval to conduct mineral prospecting shall be filed with and approved by

the Secretary; and

(ii) mineral

prospecting shall not be conducted on private land without landowner

permission, or on State land without permission from the Secretary.

(2) Hand panning

prospecting techniques shall be exempt from this subchapter. (Added 1965, No.

111, § 1, eff. June 22, 1965; amended 1969, No. 281 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1975,

No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1981, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 24; 1983, No. 193

(Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 27, 1984; 1987, No. 67, § 4; 1997, No. 106 (Adj.

Sess.), § 2, eff. April 27, 1998; 1999, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 32, eff. May

29, 2000; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2009, No. 110 (Adj. Sess.), §

14, eff. March 31, 2011; 2011, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 2013;

2015, No. 64, § 22.)