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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Hearing Scheduled On Cabot Creamery Wastewater Permit Renewal

John Dillon
A Cabot Creamery truck sprays wastewater on a field in Marshfield in 2012. A Public hearing has been scheduled later this month regarding the renewal of the cheese maker's land application permit.

Cabot Creamery gets rid of its dairy processing wastewater by spreading it on agricultural lands in 33 Vermont towns. And its permit to do so is now up for renewal, prompting some vocal opponents to raise questions about the practice.

Every five years Agri-Mark, doing business as Cabot Creamery, needs to renew its land application permit through the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. The permit gives the cheese maker permission to spray whey and wastewater from cleaning the plant onto agricultural fields and inject it into manure pits.

ANR employee Bryan Harrington recently issued Cabot a draft permit renewal. However, in the 30-day public comment period, Harrington said a number of people requested the state hold a public hearing.

"It’s being held because we received public hearing requests from about four or five people, fairly vocal people, to have a hearing," said Harrington. "So we decided to go ahead and hold one."

Also in the public comment period, Cabot Creamery requested to have a few more fields added to the list of places where it can spray its wastewater. The addition of those new fields will also be discussed at this month's public hearing.

The public hearing requests came from Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Lake Champlain International and others who raised concerns that runoff from the waste water application could harm water quality. The hearing will be held at Willey Memorial Hall, 3084 Main Street, Cabot from 6:30 until 9 p.m. on August 31.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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