Below is an update of bill highlights, what comes next, and how you can get involved.
Clean Water Funding & Water Quality Services (Act 76)
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources will be sharing next steps for implementation soon!
Single Use Plastics (Act 69)
The working group will be appointed soon by the Speaker, Pro-Temp and Governor. The meetings will be open to the public and interested folks can follow that through the legislative web page once it is established.
Neonicotinoids (Act 35)
No legislative study or work groups in H.205 but the tracking of treated and untreated seeds that is in H525 will be an important step in understanding the volume of neonics introduced into our environment each year. Additional recommendations from the Pollinator Protection Commission Report could also be pursued. The study can be found here.
The Natural Resources Board (NRB) has been asked to convene a stakeholder group process for the slate industry in Rutland county. If folks are interested, they can be in touch with the NRB to follow the progress and attend meetings.
Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Drinking and Surface Waters (Act 21)
Establishes a drinking water standard (Maximum Contaminant Level, MCL) for toxic PFAS chemicals.
For public water systems, a 20 parts per trillion (ppt) MCL for 5 PFAS chemicals will be effective Dec. 1, 2019.
All public water systems must test for 18 PFAS compounds by Dec. 1, 2019. The total number of water systems that must test is 662.
The state will also undertake a comprehensive investigation to look for other potential PFAS contamination sites and sources.
Additionally, the Agency must initiate a formal rulemaking to evaluate regulation as a class or subclass the thousands of PFAS chemicals, by August 1, 2020.
Lead Testing and Remediation in Schools and Childcare Facilities (Act 66)
Testing has started, and will continue with a deadline of all schools and childcare facilities having their water tested for lead contamination above 4 parts per billion on or before Dec 31, 2020. If contaminated water sources are found, they must be remediated, and state funding is available.
Rulemaking regarding on-going testing requirements into the future, such as how often re-testing must occur, will be due on or before Nov 1, 2020.
Toxic Chemicals and Hazardous Chemicals in Children’s Products (Act 75)
There will be rule-making processes in the coming year+, including:
Updated criteria and processes the Commissioner of Health will use when considering regulating toxic chemicals or adding or removing chemicals for the list of chemicals of high concern to children.
A rule must be finalized by Jan 15, 2020 that will address when and how companies must report if they put a product containing a chemical of concern on the market between the annual reporting cycles.
There will also be a report back to the Legislature on Jan 5, 2020 regarding the status of the program and recommendations.
Medical Monitoring for People Exposed to High Levels of Toxic Chemicals (S.37)
The Governor vetoed the bill, so there will likely be a veto override vote in January.