VNRC: Key bills heading for veto vote next Monday: pollinators and renewable energy standard

Vermont Natural Resources Council The Legislature will reconvene next week, on June 17, to vote on overriding the governor’s veto on two important environmental bills (it is uncertain whether the governor will veto a third bill, H.687, which would modernize Act 250). A two-thirds majority of votes will be required for the law to enter into force.

Here are two bills we’ve been working hard on to advance this session that will face veto votes next week:

  • Modernizing Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard (H.289): This bill will put Vermont on track to achieve 100% renewable energy across all of the state’s utilities by 2035 and significantly increase requirements for utilities to deploy new renewable energy being built here in Vermont and in the region.
  • Protecting pollinators from harmful pesticides (H.706): This bill phases out the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in Vermont. These harmful pesticides are applied to seeds commonly used by farmers, even though studies have shown that they contribute to the loss of pollinators and pose a potential threat to public health.

Until then, it will be important for lawmakers to hear from their constituents about enacting these bills, so thank you for considering contacting your lawmakers and asking them to support protecting our pollinators and modernizing our renewable energy standard!

Find contact information for your legislators and let them know you support overriding the veto of H.289 and H.706

2024 Lake Health and Ecosystem Indicators Report: Lake Champlain Health Update

Last week, the Lake Champlain Basin Program released the 2024 Lake Health and Ecosystem Indicators Report, which is produced every three years and highlights both successes and challenges related to water quality and ecosystem management in Lake Champlain. Climate change is a major concern because the lake freezes over so often and increased rainfall causes more erosion and nutrient loading, leading to cyanobacterial blooms. Positive trends include decreasing phosphorus levels in Missisquoi Bay since 2018, decreasing mercury levels in sport fish, and improving Atlantic salmon populations. New programs and multilingual outreach also improve community engagement and lake stewardship. If you would like to learn more about the health and conditions of Lake Champlain, we highly recommend reading the full report!

Learn more and view the 2024 Lake Condition Report

Vermont Natural Resources Council
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