September 29, 2016: GMWEA Receives LCI's Lake Champlain Heritage Award

Lake Champlain International presented GMWEA with its prestigious Heritage Award at a ceremony on September 29.  The award, given annually, acknowledges GMWEA members' long service to water quality management that helps protect Vermont's precious water resources.  Below: Sen. Patrick Leahy presents the award to GMWEA board member Bob Fischer and GMWEA president Rick Kenney.  Thanks to Jack Rowell for the photo!

November 9, 2016: GMWEA and NEWEA Host Vermont's First-Ever Poo & Brew

Thirty-eight operators, water quality industry representatives, and state and city officials from Vermont and throughout New England convened in South Burlington to learn more about two very different technology "infrastructures."  The event brings together young professionals to network, learn more about each other's facilities, and have a good time. The event began with a tour of South Burlington's Class 5 WRRF, led by water quality supervisor and GMWEA board member Bob Fischer; participants then went to Queen City Brewery, where they sampled a range of Queen City's brews.  Paul Hale, managing partner of Queen City, explained the processes of brewing and showed off the high-tech, which some participants noted was a bit shinier than some of Bob Fischer's at SBWRRF.  Thanks to GMWEA board member Chris Cox of Montpelier WRRF for organizing the event and to Charlie Tyler for the photos!

January 19, 2017: GMWEA Holds Legislators Meet & Greet at Statehouse

GMWEA board and staff members, along with representatives from NEWEA, VRWA, and other allies convened at the Statehouse cafeteria to greet legislators as they start the new session.  We handed out brochures, grabbed elbows and schmoozed, and provided lawmakers with a water quality acronym sheet -- which received a lot of appreciation.  The annual event is intended to remind lawmakers of the important role of water quality in Vermont's way of life, and to show them the faces of the real people who protect Vermont's health and natural waters.  Legislators responded enthusiastically.  We were fortunate to receive a visit from Vermont's lone, hard-working representative in Washington, Peter Welch!  Below: The GMWEA, NEWEA, VRWA folks, Amy Macrellis of Stone Environmental, and Rep. Welch.

November 10: 2016 Fall Meeting/Conference & Trade Show Attended by 500!

GMWEA's annual meeting drew over 300 water quality professionals and 200 exhibitors to the Sheraton Hotel

& Conference Center in Burlington. Attendees participated in nine technical sessions, toured 85 exhibits of water quality technology and service firms, enjoyed a catered lunch, had fun, and voted on GMWEA By Laws amendments.   

Technical sessions included: Electrical Safe Work Practices; Overflow Prevention & Maintenance - A New & Inexpensive Techonlogy & Approach; How Low is Low Enough (PFOAs)?; Water & Wastewater Sampling from the  Laboratory Perspective; Meeting an Effluent Total Phosphorus of .01 mg/l -- Pilot Study Results; Ethics in Water & Wastewater.

GMWEA Provides Advisory on the Clean Water Report of January 15, 2017

The Clean Water Report, published by Vermont's Office of the Treasurer, elicited concern from many GMWEA members and their municipalities.  In a letter to Representative David Deen, chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, GMWEA -- in consultation with many allied organizations, individual members, and municipalities -- made the following primary comments:

  • ‚ÄčThe projected cost of compliance with the Clean Water agenda -- $2.3 billion over 20 years -- is under-estimated and leaves too large a gap between costs and revenues, especially since it does not consider the added operations and maintenance cost of new infrastructure.  The State should conduct a more comprehensive cost analysis.
  • Costs for mandated compliance obligations should not be imposed on individual municipalities but should be shared, with the State providing 80% and municipalities contributing 20%;
  • Vermont cities and towns face a wide range of environmental and economic conditions, and the models for fee-based funding need to be flexible to accommodate such variations;
  • The administrative cost of creating local stormwater utilities may be excessive for smaller communities, and the State should take steps to minimize expenses associated with administration; monies saved in administration costs should be invested in initiatives that materially contribute to water quality improvement.

March 29, 2017: GMWEA Hosts Annual Legislative Luncheon

After joining other water-quality organizations for Clean Water Day activities at the Statehouse, GMWEA board members and staff hosted GMWEA's annual Legislative Luncheon at the Capitol Plaza Hotel for lunch and conversation.  Approximately 30 water quality facility operators, representatives of New England regional water quality organizations, Vermont DEC staff, and legislators attended.  Participants enjoyed a delicious lunch and informal discussion of water quality policies being discussed at the Statehouse as well as long-term water-related issues at the state and national level.  

Among the topics discussed were the recent Clean Water Report and proposed water quality improvements funding and H.211, particularly concerns over land application of biosolids.  GMWEA greatly appreciates the legislators who attended this event for their interest in Vermont's water quality and their attention to the complex and highly-technical implications of policies under consideration!  Thanks are also due to GMWEA members who attended to share their perspectives.  

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