Extensive coordination between various state agencies and leaders helped them craft a workable plan.
"It's been an all-hands-on-deck project," Mears said.
Stephen Perkins, a director of ecosystem protection with the U.S. EPA, said Vermont's plan will directly address runoff coming from the roads and farm sectors for the first time.
"Vermont has a chance to break some ground here, and we'll see if that's the case," Perkins said.
When the EPA receives the plan, they will estimate pollution reduction and might recommend how the state can improve the plan. Gov. Peter Shumlin will sign a letter pledging the state's commitment to fulfilling the goals by the end of April.
A 2013 estimate pegs the cost for cleaning up all the state's waterways at about $155 million over a decade. Mears said it's too soon to discuss costs and revenue sources, but he believes the state will be able to spend "substantially less" than that estimate to see improvement.
If the state's implementation plan doesn't meet EPA expectations, the EPA could issue sweeping regulations that would apply to sewage plants, which aren't considered the main factors in the lake's pollution.
"There's no question that we're up against a wall," Mears said.
But Mears knows the agency has support from community members, who are eager to restore the lake to its once-pristine condition.
"Everybody wants the lake cleaned up," Mears said.