BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — An environmental group behind a plan to reduce damage from future flooding in Brattleboro, Vermont, has cleared its first hurdle with local officials.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports the Brattleboro Development Review Board approved the Vermont River Conservancy's project Monday.

Their project seeks to restore the floodplain and wetlands in order to reduce flood heights and capture ice and other debris.

The group paid $145,000 for 12 acres in Brattleboro in October for the project. Executive Director Steve Libby says the land will be open space for people to use "passively."

The group has been approved for a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove contaminated soils.

Libby says the project still needs state wetlands and stormwater permits before excavators can begin.

___

Information from: Brattleboro Reformer, http://www.reformer.com/