Governor Phil Scott today announced 239 Vermont schools have been awarded school safety grants totaling $4 million, which will fund infrastructure upgrades designed to improve school safety.
Eight Vermont agriculture, food, beverage, forest, and fiber product associations that provide support to the development of Vermont's economy and the viability of our working landscape businesses will implement marketing projects with $2,000 grant awards.
The annual Rabies Bait Drop, a cooperative effort between Vermont and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services to stop the spread of the rabies, starts on August 8. The approximately week-long bait drop is part of a nationally coordinated effort to halt the fatal disease.
People from Bennington and North Bennington who may have been affected by PFOA contamination of drinking water now have until Friday, August 17 to register for a blood test to determine the levels of PFOA in their blood.
Governor Phil Scott on Thursday announced Dan French, Ed.D. as the new Secretary of the Agency of Education.
The Vermont Department of Public Safety will host three Applicant Briefings next week. Attendance at one of the Applicant Briefings is mandatory for any municipality or public non-profit entity which incurred public infrastructure damages during the storm of May 4-5, 2018 (declared as federal disaster DR4380) and seeking 75 percent federal Public Assistance for disaster recovery. The briefings will outline the requirements for receiving federal awards and maximizing eligibility of repairs. All towns and other public entities seeking federal reimbursement for costs associated with the May 4-5th, 2018 storm should send a representative to one of these briefings.
There's more than just water flowing through Vermont's wetlands, lakes, and rivers during Clean Water Week. Over $10 million in Ecosystem Restoration Grants from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be infused into lakes and streams this fiscal year. The grants go to municipalities, farmers, regional planning commissions, natural resource conservation districts, watershed organizations, and other partners. Projects will target actions that reduce sediment and nutrient pollution, such as phosphorus, from flowing into lakes and streams.
The Vermont Department of Health has introduced free prescription medication mail-back envelopes as a safe, simple and secure way to dispose of unwanted and unused medications. Up to eight ounces of medications - either in their original containers, or in a sealed bag - can be put in each pre-addressed, 8x11 inch envelope, which is then mailed off to be destroyed.
The Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) filed emergency regulations and proposed final rules in response to the United States Department of Labor's (DOL) June 19 final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs). The emergency rule is effective immediately. Both rules filed govern only fully-insured AHPs (i.e. AHPs that purchase coverage from an insurer and do not self-insure).
The Vermont Climate Action Commission delivered a final report containing 53 recommendations to the Governor for his consideration. The commission was formed last year by Governor Scott, to bring together 21 business, civic, nonprofit, and state agency leaders with the goal of developing concrete recommendations to reduce Vermont's greenhouse gas emissions and spur economic growth.
Governor Phil Scott announced that President Donald Trump has signed a major disaster declaration for Chittenden, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange and Orleans counties. Those counties suffered substantial damage during severe storms on May 4 & 5 of this year.
Vermont’s 2018 Clean Water Week, which kicked off Sunday and runs through August 4, celebrates Vermont’s lakes, rivers and wetlands, as well as the tremendous efforts of businesses, farms, communities and organizations to protect and restore clean water. Clean water is essential to Vermont’s health, quality of life and strong economy. It supports diverse recreational opportunities, serves as a major drinking water source and provides critical fish and wildlife habitat.
The Vermont Department of Health will be providing for blood tests for some people who may have been affected by PFOA contamination of drinking water in Bennington and North Bennington, but who have not been previously tested for PFOA levels in their blood. The Vermont Legislature has made funding available for this effort.
Nearly 40,000 Vermonters receiving Social Security benefits will keep more of their income due to an income tax exemption proposed by Gov. Phil Scott and passed by the Legislature. This change, included in Act 11 of the 2018 Special Session, creates a personal income tax exemption for Social Security beneficiaries below certain income thresholds. The law takes effect in calendar year 2018 for tax returns filed in 2019.
Changes to Vermont's tax code will now benefit all Vermont taxpayers making charitable contributions in 2018.
Vermont's Community Right-To-Know Program, 20 VSA Chapter 1, Vermont's Rules and Regulations dated October 1995, and the Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) which is a part of 42 USC Chapter 116, require that certain hazardous materials must be reported annually by March 1st for the preceding calendar year. If you have not completed the current year's report, please do so as soon as possible.
More than 250 Vermont schools have applied for funding to make security upgrades to their facilities. The State will award $4 million in grants by this fall to help schools strengthen security, using guidance from a statewide safety assessment conducted earlier this year. Governor Phil Scott ordered the assessments after an alleged school shooting plot was uncovered and averted in Fair Haven in February.
The Clean Water Board is requesting public input on the state's fiscal year 2020 clean water funding priorities. Weigh in by completing this online questionnaire, open July 2nd - 31st.
The Vermont Department of Health has updated its health advisory for drinking water of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) to cover five per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. Exposure to certain PFAS may affect different systems in the human body.
On Wednesday, July 11, State and Federal officials will host a public meeting in Montpelier about emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect recently discovered in Vermont. Those attending the meeting will have the opportunity to learn about EAB, implications of the statewide quarantine, infested wood disposal options, "slow-the-spread" recommendations, and guidance for landowners, forest professionals and municipalities.