About Rethink Runoff

Rethink Runoff is an ongoing awareness and public outreach effort to reduce dirt and pollutants in stormwater runoff in the Lake Champlain Basin.

The Rethink Runoff program, managed by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), assists several municipalities and entities in complying with federally required stormwater permits.

In the News

Our own Stream Team coordinator, Kristen Balschunat, was recently interviewed on Postively Vermont. You can watch the eposide below:

Pavement Murals Point Out Trouble: Water Runoff Is a Real Problem
Shelburne News, October 3, 2019

Volunteers Remove Trash from Williston Streams
Williston Observer, September 26, 2019

Art for awareness: Muralists adorn Milton storm drains
Milton Independent, July 31, 2019

Chittenden County Municipalities Rebrand Stormwater Awareness Program

What Can Be Done About Vermont’s Aging Sewer Systems?
VPR, Brave Little State podcast

Rebranded campaign aims to reduce stormwater runoff

“Murals with a message at storm drains”
Burlington Free Press, October 7, 2016

“Stream Team Decorates Burlington Storm Drains”
Seven Days
, October 11, 2016

“Volunteers needed for stream cleanup”
The Essex Reporter
, September 14, 2016

“BTV storm drain mural project coming”
Burlington Free Press
, August 31 2016

“Water monitors needed in Chittenden County”
Burlington Free Press
, June 10, 2016


Contact Us

Have a question or want to provide feedback?


The Regional Stormwater Educational Program (RSEP) was formed in 2003 by nine municipalities in Chittenden County [Burlington, Colchester, Essex, Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston, and Winooski] and three other entities to pool their resources to meet Public Education & Outreach requirements of their EPA permit. The RSEP program conducted spring and late summer advertising campaigns to promote its website, www.smartwaterways.org, where people could learn about the impacts of excessive stormwater and simple practices they could carry out to minimize pollution and “slow the flow” of stormwater.

Seeing the benefits of collaboration, in 2011 these municipalities and entities formed a similar effort, the CCST, to meet the Public Involvement & Participation requirements of their EPA permit. Each year, the Stream Team has worked in various communities helping citizens to conduct hands-on activities, such as stream cleanups and constructing rain gardens. The CCST has engaged in face-to-face communications with people as well to solicit their involvement.

While the CCRPC manages various consultants helping to implement the program, overall management of Rethink Runoff is conducted by the MS4 Subcommittee of CCRPCs Clean Water Advisory Committee. The Subcommittee typically meets every first Tuesday of the month starting around noon. To view agendas and minutes of the Subcommittee please visit the Clean Water Advisory Committee page here.

MS-4 Municipalities

  • Burlington
  • South Burlington
  • Williston
  • Winooski
  • Colchester
  • Shelburne
  • Essex
  • Essex Junction
  • Milton

MS-4 Permit Background

The Clean Water Act of 1972 authorizes the EPA and states to regulate point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. The point sources are generated from a variety of municipal and industrial operations including treated wastewater and stormwater runoff from drainage systems called Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4).

The NPDES permit program created two phases of MS4s. Phase I, formed in 1990, regulating the discharges from MS4 systems, construction activities, industrial activities and water quality impacts for medium to large cities serving a population of 100,000 or more.

Phase II, formed in 1999, regulates discharges from MS4 systems, construction activities, industrial activities, and water quality impacts for small urbanized areas. Vermont has nine municipalities that are designated Phase II MS4s. These municipalities are Burlington, Colchester, Essex, Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston, and Winooski. Three publicly-owned “non-traditional” MS4’s were also designated: the University of Vermont, Burlington International Airport, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

In October 2000, EPA authorized the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to implement the NPDES stormwater permitting program in the State of Vermont. The NPDES stormwater program regulates point source discharges of stormwater into surface waters of the State of Vermont from certain municipal, industrial, and construction activities. As the NPDES stormwater permitting authority, DEC is responsible for promulgating rules and issuing permits, managing and reviewing permit applications, and performing compliance and enforcement activities.

For more information about MS4 stormwater permitting in Vermont, please visit the State of Vermont Department of Environment Conservation.

Voting Members

  • John Choate
    Public Works
    Department City of Winooski
  • Thomas J. DiPietro
    Stormwater Superintendent
    South Burlington Stormwater Utility
  • Chris Robinson
    Water Quality Superintendent
    Town of Shelburne
  • Jennifer Callahan
    Operations Stormwater Technician
    VT Agency of Transportation
  • Chelsea Mandigo
    Stormwater Coordinator/Wastewater Operator
    Village of Essex Junction
  • Larry Lackey
    Director of Engineering and Environmental Compliance
    Burlington International Airport
  • Dave Allerton
    Public Works Department
    Town of Milton
  • Annie Costandi
    Stormwater Coordinator
    Director Town of Essex
  • James Sherrard
    Stormwater Coordinator
    for Burlington
  • Christine Doughtery
    Stormwater Coordinator for Williston
  • Karen Adams
    Department of Public Works
    Town of Colchester
  • Lani Ravin
    Campus Planning Services
    University of Vermont
  • Jenna Olson
    Stormwater Program Manager
    City of Burlington

Non-voting Members

  • Dan Albrecht
    Senior Planner
    Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
  • Jim Pease and Christy Witters
    Dept. of Environmental Conservation
    VT Agency of Natural Resources
  • Mike Barsotti
    Director of Water Quality & Production
    Champlain Water District

The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission

The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission provides planning and technical assistance in the areas of Community Development, Transportation, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Housing, Economic Development, Telecommunications and Emergency Management to the 19 municipalities of Chittenden County and to the public, while remaining consistent with federal and state requirements. The collaboration between the CCRPC, Chittenden County municipalities and other related resources agencies results in the development and implementation of plans that support sustainable development and improve the region’s environment and quality of life. For more information about the CCRPC, please visit www.ccrpcvt.org.