Leahy Program Yields Army Corps-South Burlington Partnership For Bartlett Brook Stormwater Runoff Projects

(TUESDAY, Feb. 7) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday announced plans to move forward with $1.65 million in storm water management projects in South Burlington, Vt.

The Corps and the City of South Burlington have signed an agreement to develop the projects, which are authorized under a Leahy program enacted in 2000 to forge and help finance local-federal partnerships to ease local drainage problems and help achieve compliance with Vermont water quality rules, by reducing polluted runoff from developed areas reaching Lake Champlain and its tributaries.

Non-point source storm water runoff is among the largest sources of phosphorous and other pollutants entering Lake Champlain, and Bartlett Brook in South Burlington has been identified as falling short of Vermont water quality standards because of storm runoff.

This agreement will include drainage improvement work in the Stonehenge neighborhood of South Burlington and the construction of a storm water treatment pond in nearby Szymanski Park.  As part of the work, plantings will be used to help slow down runoff and improve water quality through filtration.  Another initiative will boost the capacity of the drainage system in the Laurel Hill South neighborhood, which is hit by localized flooding during big storms.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will manage the design and construction of the projects and will provide more than $1 million of the total $1.65 million cost, under the Lake Champlain Environmental Assistance Program, a law written by Leahy that was enacted in 2000.  Under the program the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, coordinating with the Lake Champlain Basin Program, provides assistance with planning, designing and construction of projects that contribute to protection and enhancement of the water quality, water supply, ecosystem and other water related issues within the watershed.  More than a dozen other projects across the basin are completed or at various stages of planning or construction under the Leahy program.

“I’m happy to move forward on this partnership with the City of South Burlington to improve the lives of Vermonters while also protecting the water quality of the Lake Champlain Basin,” said New York District Commander Col. John R. Boulé. “This project takes advantage of a great opportunity to leverage available federal funding to make stormwater management enhancements for South Burlington.”

Leahy said, "This is another notable milestone for Lake Champlain.  These projects will remedy local runoff problems while advancing our goals for a cleaner lake.  The contribution of more than a million dollars from the Army Corps of Engineers means local homeowners and the City of South Burlington will not need to shoulder the full cost of these improvements." 

South Burlington, as the project’s local sponsor, will be managing its design features, and after external and Army Corps reviews, the Corps will manage project construction, which is expected to be completed next year, in the spring of 2013.

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