The principal state agency overseeing Vermont’s environment is the Agency of Natural Resources. The umbrella agency enforces the state’s hunting laws, manages state parks, and regulates environmental protection. Vermont has a reputation as an environmentally clean state. Ironically, this reputation led to a surge of development from the 1960s on. In an effort to control growth and promote environmentally responsible development, the state passed a law requiring that any significant development project must undergo a comprehensive environmental assessment. State and local officials then work with the developers to make the project environmentally sound.
Vermont has taken a leadership role among the states in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and improving energy efficiency. Vermont also moved early to the forefront of the nation’s solid waste (trash) management. Its environmental programs first stemmed, however, from concern for the quality of the state’s streams and rivers. Vermont in 1969 became the first state to establish a permit program for discharges into waterways. Considerable attention has focused since the late 1980s on zebra mussel infestations in Lake Champlain (see Mussel) and the heavy use of water for snowmaking by Vermont ski areas. Elevated levels of phosphorus, which promote the growth of algae, were another focus of concern in the 2000s, especially regarding Lake Champlain. The use of detergents containing phosphates has been banned in the state since 1977. "Vermont" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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