- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that seeks to protect Vermont’s lake shorelines by placing new restrictions on clearing land adjacent to lakes and creation of driveways and other impervious surfaces.

The bill advanced Thursday afternoon on a 21-5 vote, with supporters saying it will provide important protections to key wildlife habitat and to water quality.

Opponents argued that Vermonters already are good stewards of the state’s waters and that the bill is an unnecessary intrusion on private property rights.

The House had earlier passed a less detailed bill leaving it largely to the Agency of Natural Resources to write rules for protecting shorelines.

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