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VT dairy farm pays $40,000 for violations


November 21, 2014, Enosburg Falls, VT – A dairy farm located near Enosburg Falls, VT, has admitted to violations of the state’s water pollution law and agricultural practice regulations and will pay $40,000.00 in civil penalties for the water quality violations.

The settlement concerns three discharges by the operation to the Bogue Brook in Enosburg Falls on November 19, 2013. On that date, three manure tankers, owned by the farm, took water from Bogue Brook, drove downstream and discharged manure-laden water from the tanks back into the brook. Each of the three spreaders made two such “rinsing” discharges on November 19, 2013. A video of the discharges was filed in Vermont Superior Court with the settlement.

The Bogue Brook is a branch of the Missisquoi River that flows into Lake Champlain.

The farm admitted to the conduct as a part of the settlement.

The matter was investigated by the Compliance and Enforcement Division of Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation and prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

“The spraying of manure laden rinsate directly into state waters was an egregious and unacceptable violation of state law,” said David Mears, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. “This type of conduct degrades the water quality in Vermont’s streams, rivers, ponds and lakes hurting all Vermonters. If we are to improve our water quality these types of violations must be stopped. We want the message to be crystal clear that the state will pursue significant penalties against those who continue to violate the law in this manner.”

“These actions and any others like them are totally unacceptable,” said Chuck Ross, the state’s agriculture secretary. “They present a bad image for the many other farmers who are good stewards of our land and water resources. The Agency of Agriculture will not hesitate to take enforcement actions and impose significant penalties in circumstances like this.”

The Attorney General noted that the farm cooperated with the state on the settlement and swiftly accepted responsibility for its conduct.


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