Assessing the Feasibility of a Vermont Statewide Stormwater Utility

A Comparative Case Study Approach to Stormwater Utilities
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1213-01
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Given Vermont’s pressing need to comply with clean water regulations, the state legislature has expressed interest in the possibility of implementing a statewide stormwater utility. The House Committee of Fish, Wildlife, and Water Resources has commissioned the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College to examine existing stormwater utility systems and create a framework from which decisions and comparisons can be made for the state of Vermont. At the most fundamental level, the following questions must be considered when undertaking this endeavor:

1. How feasible is it to create and implement a statewide stormwater utility in Vermont?

2. What models are available from other states that would be useful to analyze when crafting such a utility for Vermont?

3. What are the best practices in developing and implementing stormwater utilities?

To best address these questions, the report assumes the form of a comparative case study. To begin, a nationwide aggregate data of utility systems is briefly explored, creating a holistic understanding of such utilities across the United States. Next, the report focuses upon utility systems located in regions similar to Vermont. Finally, the report concludes with a concise list of best management practices garnered from these case studies. This menu of stormwater management options provides relevant background information to the Vermont state legislature as it identifies the elements they wish to incorporate within a statewide stormwater utility.