The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation recently announced its decision to grant the City of Montpelier’s petition to restrict use of Berlin Pond, in part, and to deny the Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond petition.
The Department found that all internal combustion motors should be prohibited from use on the pond because of the risks these activities can pose to Montpelier’s drinking water.
“Berlin Pond is a gem in Central Vermont, easily accessible and yet remote, so I am pleased to announce that Vermonters will be able to continue to access and enjoy the pond for an appropriate, protected set of uses without threatening Montpelier’s drinking water, water that I drink every day,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears.
The City had asked the Department to prohibit all motorized vehicles, petroleum products and ice shanties. Petroleum products and ice shanties were not prohibited in the Department’s decision because risks associated with their uses are covered under existing law.
The Department declined to grant the request of the Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond’s petition to ban all boating, swimming, hunting and fishing on the pond. The Department found that these activities would not threaten Montpelier’s drinking water, and that proper enforcement and education regarding existing laws and rules adequately addresses potential for a conflict between recreation and other uses including wildlife viewing.
On a related note, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will now resume its discussions with the Town of Berlin regarding the possibility of building a carry-on access for kayaks and canoes to Berlin Pond.
Copies of each decision can be found on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website: (https://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/). For additional information, contact Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears at (802) 828-1556.