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Vermont Panel Debates Lakeshore Protection Bill

View of Lake Champlain

A proposed state law creating new protections for Vermont's lakeshores is drawing support from environmentalists and criticism from some lakeside property owners and municipal officials.

The bill before the House Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee calls on the Agency of Natural Resources to draft new rules restricting what can be built at the edges of lakes and requiring a buffer of vegetation between the water's edge and built-up structures.

The committee heard Thursday from Karen Horn of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, who said towns are worried about the state intruding in an area of regulation traditionally left to them.

It also heard from people worried about property rights and from environmentalists who said Vermont has fallen behind neighboring states in protecting its lakes.

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