first_imgDeb Markowitz, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and Ron Shems, Chair of the Vermont Natural Resources Board, are holding public hearings in October on improving Vermont’s environmental and land use permitting processes. The purpose of the hearings is to hear from Vermonters about what works and what needs improvement in the ANR, Act 250 and municipal permitting and appeals processes. ‘It is important to hear from the public,’ said ANR Secretary Markowitz, ‘so we can address real issues people are experiencing in our environmental permitting process.’ Public input is sought on the following questions:How can each permit process best assure predictability and timeliness? How can each permit process best assure transparency and citizen input? What environmental permit processes can be consolidated? How can we avoid duplication in the permit process? How can we lower expenses in the permit process? Should the process be the same for a routine environmental permit (e.g., wastewater) as for a more complex permit (e.g., an Act 250 permit for a large project)? Are there other procedural issues in the environmental protection process to address?‘Our goal is to improve the permitting process where it needs fixing, without reducing environmental protection,’ said NRB Chair Ron Shems. Markowitz and Shems will be making recommendations to the Legislature in January 2012.The public hearings are being held around the state, as follows:Comments are also being accepted in writing and by email. For details, see: http://www.nrb.state.vt.us/news.htm(link is external) or contact Melanie Kehne at the Natural Resources Board at 802-828-3305.##last_img

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