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Urging stronger enforcement action to keep the Lake clean.

Last year's three major sewage and industrial wastewater spills into Lake Champlain and its watershed have caused CLF to take a harder look at the state's enforcement and clean-up policies. On one occasion, a sewer main pipe crossing the Winooski River literally cracked in half and poured half a million gallons of raw sewage into the River, a direct tributary of the Lake, for eight straight days. On another, 900,000 gallons of unchlorinated, partially-treated waste was dumped into the Lake. Finally, Cabot Creamery dumped ammonia directly into the Winooski, killing tens of thousands of fish and other life in a five-mile stretch of the River.

In all three instances, the polluters did not do enough to prevent the spills or to clean them up quickly. CLF is disturbed by the lack of swift and effective enforcement of the state's clean water laws. Luckily, CLF's Lake Champlain Lakekeeper Program has received a big boost through the addition of Lakekeeper Tim Burke, who will tackle the multitude of pollution problems facing the Lake, including stormwater runoff, agricultural runoff and discharges from wastewater treatment plants. Prior to joining CLF, Burke served as a Vermont State Representative, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources and Executive Director of the Adirondack Council. Working alongside Burke will be new Vermont staff attorney Anthony Iarrapino, who clerked for Judge Denise R. Johnson, an Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, prior to joining CLF.

Burke and Iarrapino have already begun to demand that the state's Clean Water Act enforcement program measure up to federal requirements, and recently testified in favor of stronger enforcement of federal rules.
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Title Annotation:Vermont
Publication:Conservation Matters
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U1VT
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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