The first change was to Act 138 from the 2012 Legislative session that established authority for ANR to create a State Floodplain Rule. This State Floodplain Rule would apply for uses and development exempt from local municipal regulation (aka 24 VSA 4413 statute). This state rule would really only apply to a few limited categories of uses: State owned and operated facilities, Accepted Agricultural Practices, Accepted Silvicultural Practices, and public utility power-generating and transmission facilities subject to regulation by the Public Service Board. Act 138 was not clear on whether or not the ANR would have the ability to include the regulation of river corridor areas in addition to FEMA's mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) in the State Floodplain Rule. The first part of H.676 helps to clarify that there is authority for regulating development in both the SFHA and the river corridor for these limited categories of projects. Therefore, it will be an ANR State Floodplain & River Corridor Rule which will include river corridor protections for that limited list of municipally exempt development.
The second change was made to 24 VSA statute 4413 to clarify municipal jurisdiction around limited uses and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For most of the traditional uses and development that a community has limited authority to regulate, the community now has the authority to regulate those uses for compliance with both the community's NFIP standards and any river corridor standards. This development would include:
- Community-owned and operated institutions and facilities;
- Public and private schools and other educational institutions;
- Churches and other places of worship;
- Public and private hospitals;
- Regional solid waste management facilities;
- Construction of hazardous waste management facilities