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Why Vermont brewers face tough wastewater restrictions - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Why Vermont brewers face tough wastewater restrictions

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

There's a growing wastewater problem with the growing number of breweries in Vermont.

Lawson's Finest Liquids has won many awards for its IPA's and brews using maple sap. Sean Lawson, the company's owner up until now has brewed mainly out of his small, home-based-brewery in Warren, but is seeking permits to expand to a larger facility in Waitsfield. He says wastewater rules can be tough and expensive for many small brewers. He testified before the Senate Economic Development committee hoping lawmakers can help ease some of the burdens on the industry.

"Economic or technical assistance in helping brewers get over some of the hurdles to adequately pre-treat their wastewater. There's certainly potential to do more small digesters around the state," said Lawson.

"The trouble with Vermont is some people are on municipal systems, others have to have their own waste water systems in the form of septics on property, so it's not a one size fits all, but certainly it's an issue that if there's something we can do to help them, as long as it doesn't damage the environment, we should be doing it," said Sen Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland County.

Vermont Technical College's anaerobic digester in Randolph currently takes some waste from local brewers and turns it into power. State regulators say they've noticed a trend in environmental violations in the brewing industry. The Agency of Natural Resources is planning a special summit for brewers next month to address the issue.

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