Gov. Scott announces $784,000 grant for Newport to combat sewer overflows

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NEWPORT — Governor Phil Scott, alongside the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), announced a significant environmental initiative, allocating $29.25 million in grants to address combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in 11 Vermont municipalities. This funding, sourced from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), aims to improve municipal sewer infrastructure, enhance water quality in the state’s streams and lakes, and comply with Vermont’s strict CSO regulations.

Among the beneficiaries, Newport received a notable portion of these funds, totaling $784,000, to upgrade its sewer systems. This allocation is part of a broader effort by the Governor’s office to utilize ARPA dollars for infrastructure improvement, promoting economic growth, environmental conservation, and public health.

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Combined sewer systems, which collect both sewage and stormwater in a single pipeline, often struggle during heavy storms. In such events, excess water can lead to untreated sewage being released into waterways, posing significant environmental and health risks. The ARPA-funded projects are expected to mitigate these risks by updating and modernizing outdated sewer systems across the state.

The grants will support various infrastructure projects, including the separation of stormwater and wastewater systems, enhancement of storage within existing sewer networks, and modifications to wastewater treatment facilities to manage peak flows during wet weather. These improvements are not just about compliance with Vermont’s environmental regulations but also in safeguarding the state’s waterways from pollution.

The list of municipalities receiving the ARPA funds includes Burlington, Enosburg Falls, Hartford, Middlebury, Montpelier, Newport, Rutland, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, Vergennes, and Northfield. Each city will use these funds for specific projects aimed at reducing or eliminating the potential for sewer overflows, thereby contributing to a healthier and more sustainable environment in Vermont.

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