Vermont towns struggle with cost of reducing runoff

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) Vermont towns are concerned about the costs of upgrading roadways to meet clean water regulations.

Vermont Public Radio reports the state's clean water law requires towns upgrade their culverts and ditches in an effort to reduce phosphorus runoff pollution. The clean water measure also created a permit system and statewide map to monitor roads.

Gwynn Zakov, who works as a municipal policy advocate for the Vermont League of Cities, says the clean water law was written without an understanding of long-term costs. Zakov also says towns contribute less runoff than farms but the state hasn't found a solution to agricultural pollutants.

Department of Environmental Conservation Municipal Roads Program Coordinator Jim Ryan understands the overhaul is a costly effort, but he says the state will help with funding.

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