A couple days ago I wrote about the saga of Act 86, which requires constant monitoring of Lake Champlain for blue-green algae blooms, but actually accomplishes nothing in the real world.
Well, I’ve talked with one of those responsible for the law, and here’s what I learned.
First, Act 86 was not a stand-alone pice of legislation, which you wouldn’t know from reading VPR’s report on it.
“The bill itself has two parts,” explains Rep. Diane Lanpher (D-Vergennes). “The first addresses CSO’s [combined sewer overflows], and the second, cyanobacteria [blue-green algae].”
Lanpher was chief sponsor of H.674, the CSO bill; Rep. Kathleen Keenan (D-St. Albans) was chief sponsor of Act 86, the algae piece. Both measures addressed public notification of water quality problems, so they decided to combine the measures into a single bill.
While Act 86 has had little practical effect, H.674 has been highly impactful, turning an unforgiving spotlight on troublesome municipal wastewater systems.