Money secured for Lake Champlain cleanup efforts

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Efforts to clean up Lake Champlain will get $8 million in federal funding, an increase of $4 million over the last fiscal year.

You can see the beauty of the lake from Burlington's waterfront. What you can't see are the problems beneath the surface. And, of course, experts need money to do the necessary cleanup required by the EPA.

Eric Howe is the director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program. He says the budget from the Trump administration last year contained no money.

Now, thanks to a push from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, Howe has $8.4 million to work with.

Half the money will be spent on general cleanup; the other half will be spent on reducing the amount of phosphorus that ends up in the lake.

"We'll be able to support a new program to work with farms to identify phosphorus cycling through a farm from how they import phosphorus to the farm, how it works its way throughout the farm, and then how it exits the farm, whether in the form of manure or runoff or from products that the farm produces," Howe said.

Leahy says it took support from both Democrats and Republicans to secure this funding.