The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 10: Conservation and Development
Chapter 023: AIR POLLUTION CONTROL
§ 551. Declaration of policy and purpose
(a) It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this State and the purpose of this chapter to achieve and maintain such levels of air quality as will protect human health and safety, and to the greatest degree practicable, prevent injury to plant and animal life and property, foster the comfort and convenience of the people, promote the economic and social development of this State, and facilitate the enjoyment of the natural attractions of this State.
(b) It is also declared that local and regional air pollution control programs are to be supported to the extent practicable as essential instruments for the securing and maintenance of appropriate levels of air quality.
(c) To these ends it is the purpose of this chapter to provide for a coordinated statewide program of air pollution prevention, abatement, and control, for an appropriate distribution of responsibilities among the State and local units of government, and to facilitate cooperation across jurisdictional lines in dealing with problems of air pollution not confined within single jurisdictions, and to provide a framework within which all values may be balanced in the public interest. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 552. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) “Agency” means the Agency of Natural Resources.
(2) “Air contaminant” means dust, fumes, mist, smoke, other particulate matter, vapor, gas, odorous substances, or any combination thereof.
(3) “Air pollution” means the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air contaminants in such quantities, and duration as is or tends to be injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life, or property, or would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property. Such effects may result from direct exposure to air contaminants, from deposition of air contaminants to other environmental media, or from alterations caused by air contaminants to the physical or chemical properties of the atmosphere.
(5) “Emission” means a release into the outdoor atmosphere of air contaminants.
(6) “Person” shall mean an individual, partnership, corporation, association, unincorporated organization, trust, or any other legal or commercial entity, including a joint venture or affiliated ownership. The word “person” also means any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of this State, of any other state, of the United States, or of any interstate body.
(7) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Natural Resources or the Secretary’s duly authorized representative.
(8) “Ozone-depleting chemical” means manufactured substances that are known or reasonably may be anticipated to cause or contribute to depletion of ozone in the earth’s stratosphere.
(A) Primary ozone-depleting chemicals include:
(ix) carbon tetrachloride.
(x) methyl chloroform.
(B) Other ozone-depleting chemicals include:
(C) The Secretary may list, by rule, other manufactured substances that are known or reasonably may be anticipated to cause or contribute to depletion of stratospheric ozone.
(9) “Reasonably available control technology” means devices, systems, process modifications, or other apparatus or techniques designed to prevent or control emissions that are reasonably available, taking into account the social, environmental, and economic impact of such controls, and alternative means of emission control.
(10) “Schedule of compliance” means a schedule of remedial measures, including an enforceable sequence of actions or operations, leading to timely compliance with applicable requirements related to the control of air contaminant emissions or the prevention or control of air pollution.
(11) “Greenhouse gas” means any chemical or physical substance that is emitted into the air and that the Secretary may reasonably anticipate to cause or contribute to climate change, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1979, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980; 1987, No. 76, § 18; 1991, No. 266 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 92, § 2; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2007, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 553. Agency
The Agency is designated as the air pollution control agency for the State. The Secretary or the Secretary’s duly authorized representative, within the Agency, shall perform the functions vested in the Agency, as specified in the following sections of this chapter. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1979, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 6, 1980; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. Jan. 31, 2005.)
§ 554. Powers
In addition to any other powers conferred on him or her by law, the Secretary shall have power to:
(1) Appoint and employ personnel and consultants as may be necessary for the administration of this chapter.
(2) Adopt, amend, and repeal rules, implementing the provisions of this chapter.
(3) Hold hearings related to any aspect of or matter in the administration of this chapter, and in connection therewith, subpoena witnesses and the production of evidence.
(4) Issue orders as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter and enforce the same by all appropriate administrative and judicial proceedings.
(5) Prepare and develop a comprehensive plan or plans for the prevention, abatement, and control of air pollution in this State.
(7) Encourage local units of government to handle air pollution problems within their respective jurisdiction, and by compact on a cooperative basis, and to provide technical and consultative assistance therefor.
(8) Encourage and conduct studies, investigations, and research relating to air contamination and air pollution and their causes, effects, prevention, abatement, and control.
(9) Determine by appropriate means the degree of air contamination and air pollution in the State and the several parts thereof.
(10) Make a continuing study of the effects of the emission of air contaminants from motor vehicles on the quality of the outdoor atmosphere of this State and the several parts thereof, and make recommendations to appropriate public and private bodies with respect thereto.
(11) Establish ambient air quality standards for the State as a whole or for any part thereof, based on nationally recognized criteria applicable to the State of Vermont.
(12) Collect and disseminate information and conduct educational and training programs relating to air contamination and air pollution.
(13) Advise, consult, contract, and cooperate with other agencies of the State, local governments, industries, other states, interstate or interlocal agencies, and the federal government, and with interested persons or groups.
(14) Consult, upon request, with any person proposing to construct, install, or otherwise acquire an air contaminant source or device or system for the control thereof, concerning the efficacy of the device or system, or the air pollution problem that may be related to the source, device or system. Nothing in any consultation shall be construed to relieve a person from compliance with this chapter, rules in force pursuant thereto, or any other provision of law.
(15) Accept, receive, and administer grants or other funds or gifts from public and private agencies, including the federal government, for the purpose of carrying out any of the functions of this chapter. The funds received by the Secretary pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the account of the Secretary.
(16) Have access to records relating to emissions that cause or contribute to air contamination. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1989, No. 98, § 4(b).)
§ 555. Classification, reporting and registration
(a) The Secretary, by rule, may classify air contaminant sources, which in his or her judgment may cause or contribute to air pollution, according to levels and types of emissions and other characteristics that relate to air pollution, and may require reporting by any class. Classifications made pursuant to this subsection may apply to the State as a whole or to any designated area of the State, and shall be made with special reference to effects on health, economic, and social factors, and physical effects on property.
(b) Any person operating or responsible for the operation of air contaminant sources of any class for which the rules of the Secretary require reporting shall make reports containing information as required by the Secretary concerning location, size, and height of contaminant outlets, processes employed, fuels used and the nature and time periods of duration of emissions, and such other information relevant to air pollution and available or reasonably capable of being assembled.
(c)(1) Any person operating or responsible for the operation of an air contaminant source shall register the source with the Secretary and renew the registration annually if the source emits:
(A) more than or equal to five tons of contaminants per year; or
(B) less than five tons of contaminants per year and is a source specified in rule by the Secretary.
(2) Each day of operating an air contaminant source without a valid, current registration shall constitute a separate violation and subject the operator to a civil penalty not to exceed $100.00 per violation. The Secretary shall, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, adopt rules to carry out this section. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1987, No. 76, § 3; 2015, No. 23, § 96; 2015, No. 57, § 22b.)
§ 556. Permits for the construction or modification of air contaminant sources
(a) No person shall construct or install any air contaminant source classified within a class or category identified by rule of the Secretary as being subject to permitting requirements under this section without first submitting a complete application to and obtaining a permit from the Secretary pursuant to this section. A complete application shall contain such plans, specifications and other information as the Secretary deems necessary in order to determine whether the proposed construction or installation will be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with the rules adopted under this chapter. Each applicant shall pay an application fee as required by 3 V.S.A. § 2822.
(b) The Secretary may require an applicant to submit any additional information that the Secretary considers necessary to make the completeness determination required in subsection (a) of this section and shall not grant a permit until the information is furnished and evaluated. When an application is filed under this section, the Secretary shall proceed in accordance with chapter 170 of this title.
(c) If the Secretary determines that the proposed construction or installation of an air contaminant source will be in compliance with all requirements of this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter, the Secretary shall issue a permit containing such terms and conditions as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. If the Secretary determines that the proposed construction or installation of an air contaminant source will not be in compliance with all requirements of this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter, the Secretary shall deny the permit, shall notify the applicant in writing, and shall state in that document the reasons for the permit denial.
(d) The Secretary may suspend, terminate, modify, or revoke for cause and may reissue any permit issued under this section.
(e) The Secretary may issue an operating permit required under section 556a of this title in conjunction with or as a part of a permit to construct or install, issued under this section, provided that there is compliance with all applicable requirements of both sections.
(f) For the purposes of this chapter, the addition to or enlargement or replacement of an air contaminant source, or any major alteration therein, shall be construed as the construction or installation of a new air contaminant source.
(g) All facilities or parts thereof identified in the plans, specifications or other information submitted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be maintained in good working order.
(h) The absence or failure to issue a permit pursuant to this section shall not relieve any person from compliance with any emission control requirements or with any other provision of law.
(i) Notwithstanding any provisions of this section, section 5-503 of the air pollution control regulations, as adopted through April 27, 2007 (indirect source permits) is hereby repealed. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 92, § 3; 2009, No. 54, § 56, eff. June 1, 2009; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § F8; 2015, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)
§ 556a. Operating permits
(a) Upon a date specified in the rules adopted by the Secretary to implement this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate an air contaminant source that has allowable emissions of more than 10 tons per year of all contaminants, excluding greenhouse gases, except in compliance with a permit issued by the Secretary under this section. The Secretary may require that air contaminant sources with allowable emissions of 10 tons or less per year obtain such a permit, upon determining that the toxicity and quantity of hazardous air contaminants emitted may adversely affect susceptible populations, or if deemed appropriate based on an evaluation of the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.
(b) Any person required by this section to have a permit shall, not later than 12 months after the date on which the source becomes subject to rules adopted by the Secretary to implement this section, submit a complete permit application and related materials to the Secretary. The Secretary may require any applicant, including a person requesting permission to operate under the terms of a previously issued general permit, to submit any additional information that the Secretary considers necessary in order to determine whether the operation of the air contaminant source will be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with the rules adopted under this chapter. The Secretary may refuse to grant a permit, or permission to operate under the terms of a general permit, until that information is furnished and evaluated, and until that determination has been made. If a person submits a timely and complete application for a permit required by this section, but final action has not been taken on that application, the source’s failure to have a permit shall not be a violation of this section, unless the delay in final action was due to the failure of the applicant to submit, in a timely manner, information required or requested to process the application.
(c) When an application is filed under this section, the Secretary shall proceed in accordance with chapter 170 of this title.
(d) Each permit issued under this section shall contain such terms and conditions as may be necessary to assure compliance with the requirements of this chapter and applicable rules and shall be issued for a fixed term, not to exceed five years. In addition, the Secretary shall, where necessary, include in a permit issued under this section conditions that revise existing or set new emission control requirements for the source based on, at a minimum, the application of reasonably available control technology. For any source that, in whole or in part, is not in compliance with all applicable requirements, the permit shall include an appropriate schedule of compliance that is acceptable to the Secretary.
(e) A person may renew a permit issued under this section upon application to the Secretary for a fixed period of time, not to exceed five years. The Secretary shall not issue a permit renewal unless the applicant first demonstrates that the emissions from the subject source meet all applicable emission control requirements or are subject to, and in compliance with, an appropriate schedule of compliance.
(f) If an application for a permit renewal has been submitted to the Secretary six months prior to the termination of the permit, and any additional information requested by the Secretary has been submitted in a timely manner, but the Secretary has failed to issue or deny the renewal permit before the end of the term of the previous permit, the permit shall not expire until the renewal permit has been issued or denied. In the event of a conflict between this subsection and 3 V.S.A. § 814(b), the provisions of this section shall govern.
(g) The Secretary shall have power to suspend, terminate, modify, or revoke for cause and to reissue any permit issued under this section.
(h) The Secretary may adopt, as a rule under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, a general operating permit covering numerous similar sources.
(i) Failure of the Secretary to act on a permit application or a permit renewal application within 18 months after the date of receipt of a completed application shall be treated as a final permit action solely for purposes of obtaining judicial review of such action by the applicant, by any person who participated in the public comment process or by any other adversely affected person in order to compel the Secretary to act on such application without additional delay.
(j) Except in compliance with a permit issued by the Secretary under this section, it shall be unlawful for a person to operate an air contaminant source that has allowable emissions of greenhouse gases that equal or exceed any threshold established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at or above which such emissions are subject to the requirements of subchapter V (permits) of 42 U.S.C. chapter 85 (air pollution prevention and control). Based on available emission control technologies or energy efficiency measures, or as otherwise appropriate to implement the provisions of this chapter, the Secretary may adopt rules to require air contaminant sources with allowable emissions below such threshold to obtain a permit under this section. (Added 1993, No. 92, § 4; amended 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § F9, eff. May 7, 2010; 2015, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2015, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)
§ 557. Inspections
Any duly authorized officer, employee, or representative of the Secretary may enter and inspect any property, premise or place on or at which an air contaminant source is located or is being constructed or installed at any reasonable time for the purpose of ascertaining the state of compliance with this chapter and rules in force pursuant thereto. No authorized person shall refuse entry or access to any authorized representative of the Secretary who requests entry for purposes of inspection, and who presents appropriate credentials; nor shall any person obstruct, hamper, or interfere with the inspection. If requested, the owner or operator of the premises shall receive a report setting forth all facts found that relate to compliance status. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 558. Emission control requirements
The Secretary may establish such emission control requirements, by rule, as in his or her judgment may be necessary to prevent, abate, or control air pollution. The requirements may be for the State as a whole or may vary from area to area, as may be appropriate to facilitate accomplishment of the purposes of this chapter, and in order to take necessary or desirable account of varying local conditions. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 559. Repealed. 1989, No. 98, § 4(b).
§ 560. Emergency procedure
(a) Any other provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, if the Secretary finds that a generalized condition of air pollution exists and that it creates an emergency requiring immediate action to protect human health or safety, with the concurrence of the Governor, the Secretary shall order persons causing or contributing to the air pollution to reduce or discontinue immediately the emission of air contaminants and such order shall fix a place and time not later than 24 hours thereafter for a hearing to be held before the Director. Not more than 24 hours after the commencement of such hearing and without adjournment thereof, the Director shall affirm, modify or set aside the order.
(b) In the absence of a generalized condition of air pollution of the type referred to in subsection (a) of this section, if the Secretary finds that emissions from the operation of one or more air contaminant sources is causing imminent danger to human health or safety, the Director of Occupational Health may order the person or persons responsible for the operation or operations in question to reduce or discontinue emissions immediately, without regard to the provisions of section 559 of this title. In that event, the requirements for hearing and affirmance, modification, or setting aside of orders set forth in subsections 559(a) and (b) shall apply.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any power that the Governor or any other officer may have to declare an emergency and act on the basis of such declaration. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; amended 1971, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 561. Variances
(a) A person who owns or is in control of any plant, building, structure, process, or equipment may apply to the Secretary for a variance from the rules adopted under this chapter. The Secretary may grant a variance if the Secretary finds that:
(1) the emissions occurring or proposed to occur do not endanger or tend to endanger human health or safety; and
(2) compliance with the rules from which variance is sought would produce serious hardship without equal or greater benefits to the public.
(b) No variance shall be granted pursuant to this section except after public notice and an opportunity for a public meeting and until the Secretary has considered the relative interests of the applicant, other owners of property likely to be affected by the discharges, and the general public.
(c) Any variance or renewal thereof shall be granted within the requirements of subsection (a) of this section and for time periods and under conditions consistent with the reasons therefore, and within the following limitations:
(1) If the variance is granted on the ground that there is no practicable means known or available for the adequate prevention, abatement, or control of the air pollution involved, it shall be only until the necessary practicable means for prevention, abatement, or control become known and available, and subject to the taking of any substitute or alternate measures that the Secretary may prescribe.
(2) If the variance is granted on the ground that compliance with the particular requirement or requirements from which variance is sought will necessitate the taking of measures that, because of their extent or cost, must be spread over a considerable period of time, it shall be for a period not to exceed such reasonable time as, in the view of the Secretary is requisite for the taking of the necessary measures. A variance granted on the ground specified herein shall contain a time schedule for the taking of action in an expeditious manner and shall be conditioned on adherence to the time schedule.
(3) If the variance is granted on the ground that it is justified to relieve or prevent hardship of a kind other than that provided for in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, it shall be for not more than one year, except that a variance granted from the rules of the Secretary pertaining to stage II vapor recovery controls at gasoline dispensing facilities shall be for a period that extends until January 1, 2013.
(d) Any variance granted pursuant to this section may be renewed on terms and conditions and for periods that would be appropriate on initial granting of a variance. If complaint is made to the Secretary on account of the variance, no renewal thereof shall be granted, unless following public notice and an opportunity for a public meeting on the complaint, the Secretary finds that renewal is justified. No renewal shall be granted except on application therefore. The application shall be made at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the variance. Immediately upon receipt of an application for renewal, the Secretary shall give public notice of the application.
(e) A variance or renewal shall not be a right of the applicant or holder thereof but shall be in the discretion of the Secretary.
(f) Nothing in this section and no variance or renewal granted pursuant hereto shall be construed to prevent or limit the application of the emergency provisions and procedures of section 560 of this chapter to any person or the person’s property.
(g) On application from a person who is subject to an increased air emission fee caused by amendments to the provisions of 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j), (k), and (l), the Secretary may grant an amendment in fee amount. A fee amendment under this subsection may be granted only if the applicant establishes that payment of fees would produce serious hardship. Fee amendments granted under this subsection shall not be subject to the findings required for the issuance of a variance under subsection (a) of this section, but fee amendments shall otherwise be subject to the provisions of this chapter regarding variances. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 92,§§ 5, 19; 1993, No. 232 (Adj. Sess.), § 38, eff. March 15, 1995; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2005, No. 26, § 4; 2009, No. 22, § 9(c).)
§ 562. Hearings and judicial review appeals
(a) No rule or regulation and no amendment or repeal thereof shall take effect except after public hearing. The Secretary shall appoint a time and place for the hearing and shall order the publication of the substance thereof and of the time and place of hearing two weeks successively in the daily newspapers of the State, the last publication to be at least seven days before the day appointed for the hearing.
(b) Appeals of any act or decision of the Secretary under this chapter shall be made in accordance with chapter 220 of this title.
(g) If a permit is denied under this section, and that denial is the subject of either an appeal or a request for a variance, the applicant need not commence application proceedings anew, once those issues are resolved. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. March 29, 1972; 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 92, § 6; 1993, No. 92, § 6; 1993, No. 232 (Adj. Sess.), § 38, eff. March 15, 1995; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 14, eff. Jan. 31, 2005.)
§ 563. Confidential records; penalty
(a) Confidential records. The Secretary shall not withhold emissions data and emission monitoring data from public inspection or review. The Secretary shall keep confidential any record or other information furnished to or obtained by the Secretary concerning an air contaminant source, other than emissions data and emission monitoring data, that qualifies as a trade secret pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(9).
(b) Penalty. A person who knowingly violates this section shall be fined not to exceed $100.00. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 564. Local air pollution control programs
(a) A municipality may establish and thereafter administer within its jurisdiction an air pollution control program that:
(1) provides by ordinance or local law for requirements compatible with, or stricter or more extensive than, those imposed by sections 558, 560, and 561 of this title and regulations issued thereunder;
(2) provides for the enforcement of such requirements by appropriate administrative and judicial process;
(3) provides for administrative organizations, staff, financial and other resources necessary to effectively and efficiently carry out its program; and
(4) is approved by the Secretary as adequate to meet the requirements of this chapter and any applicable rules and regulations pursuant thereto.
(b) A municipality may administer all or part of its air pollution control program in a compact if the program meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this section.
(c) If an approved local air pollution authority so petitions and the Secretary finds that the control of a particular class of air contaminant source because of its complexity or magnitude is beyond the reasonable capability of the local air pollution control authorities or may be more efficiently and economically performed at the State level, he or she may assume and retain jurisdiction over that class of air contaminant source. Classifications pursuant to this subsection may be either on the basis of the nature of the sources involved or on the basis of their relationship to the size of the communities in which they are located.
(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede or oust the jurisdiction of any local air pollution control program in operation on July 1, 1968, provided that within two years from such date any such program shall meet all requirements of this chapter for a local air pollution control program. Any approval required from the Secretary shall be deemed granted unless the Secretary takes specific action to the contrary. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 565. Burning wood within municipality
(a) Any other provision notwithstanding, the legislative branch of a municipality may authorize the burning of natural wood and chemically untreated wood at a place within the municipality. The burning of the wood shall be conducted under the direction and at such times as the fire warden for the municipality determines.
(b) [Repealed.] (Added 1971, No. 244 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 6, 1972; amended 1973, No. 224 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 3, 1974; 1977, No. 56, § 1, eff. April 21, 1977.)
§ 566. State and federal aid
Local air pollution control agencies established or approved pursuant to this chapter may make application for, receive, administer, and expend federal funds for the control of air pollution or the development and administration of programs related to air pollution control, provided the application is first submitted to and approved by the Secretary. The Secretary shall approve the application if it is consistent with this chapter and any other applicable requirements of law. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 567. Motor vehicle pollution
(a) The Secretary in conjunction with the Department of Motor Vehicles may provide rules for the control of emissions from motor vehicles. Such rules may prescribe requirements for the installation and use of equipment designed to reduce or eliminate emissions and for the proper maintenance of the equipment and the vehicles. Rules pursuant to this section shall be consistent with provisions of federal law, if any, relating to control of emissions from the vehicles concerned and shall not require, as a condition precedent to the initial sale of a vehicle or vehicular equipment, the inspection, certification, or other approval of any feature or equipment designed for the control of emissions from motor vehicles, if the feature or equipment has been certified, approved, or otherwise authorized pursuant to federal law.
(b) Except as permitted or authorized by law, no person shall fail to maintain in good working order or remove, dismantle, or otherwise cause to be inoperative any equipment or feature constituting an operational element of the air pollution control system or mechanism of a motor vehicle and required by rules pursuant to this chapter to be maintained in or on the vehicle. Any failure to maintain in good working order or removal, dismantling, or causing of inoperability shall subject the owner or operator to suspension or cancellation of the registration for the vehicle by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The vehicle shall not thereafter be eligible for registration until all parts and equipment constituting operational elements of the motor vehicle have been restored, replaced, or repaired and are in good working order.
(c) The Secretary shall consult with the Department of Motor Vehicles and furnish it with technical information, including testing techniques, standards, and instructions for emission control features and equipment.
(d) When rules have been issued requiring the maintenance of features or equipment in or on motor vehicles for the purpose of controlling emissions therefrom, no motor vehicle shall be issued an inspection sticker unless all the required features or equipment have been inspected in accordance with the standards, testing techniques, and instructions furnished pursuant to subsection (b) hereof and has been found to meet those standards.
(e) The remedies and penalties provided here apply to violations of this section and provisions of section 568 of this title shall not apply.
(f) As used in this section, “motor vehicle” shall have the same meaning as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 16; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 568. Penalties
(a) Any person who knowingly violates any provisions of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter or who knowingly fails or refuses to obey or comply with any order or the terms or conditions of any permit issued in accordance with this chapter, shall be fined not more than $100,000.00 or be imprisoned not more than five years, or both. Each violation may be considered a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance may be deemed a separate and distinct offense. These penalties shall not apply to violations of section 563 of this title.
(b) Any person who knowingly makes any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed or required to be maintained under this chapter, or by any permit, rule, regulation, or order issued under this chapter, or who falsifies, tampers with, or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required to be maintained under this chapter or by any permit, rule, regulation, or order issued under this chapter, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $50,000.00 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both. Each violation may be considered a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance may be deemed a separate and distinct offense. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 92, § 7.)
§ 569. Limitations
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to:
(1) Affect the relations between employers and employees with respect to or arising out of any condition of air contamination or air pollution.
(2) Supersede or limit the applicability of any law or ordinance relating to sanitation, industrial health, or safety.
(3) Grant to the Director any jurisdiction or authority with respect to air contamination existing solely within commercial and industrial plants, works, or shops or private property appurtenant thereto. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 18.)
§ 570. Exemption from taxation
Approved air pollution treatment facilities shall be exempted from real and personal property taxation in the same manner provided tax exemption of water treatment facilities under the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 3802. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 19.)
§ 571. Repealed. 1989, No. 98, § 4(b).
§ 572. Exemption; steam locomotives and engines
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any steam locomotives, engines and rolling stock used in connection with the operation of a railroad within the State. (Added 1971, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), eff. March 28, 1972.)
§ 573. Motor vehicle air conditioning
(a) No person may perform service on motor vehicle air conditioners, unless that person uses equipment that is certified by the Underwriters Laboratories, or an institution determined by the Secretary to be comparable, as meeting the Society of Automotive Engineers standard applicable to equipment for the extraction and reclamation of refrigerant or a substitute prohibited under section 586 of this title from motor vehicle air conditioners.
(b) The Secretary, by rule, shall establish a phased schedule for the acquisition of that equipment by establishments that repair motor vehicles, requiring early acquisition by high-volume establishments and subsequent acquisition by lower-volume establishments, providing that all establishments that wish to continue to service motor vehicle air conditioning shall have that equipment in use by January 1, 1991. The Secretary, by rule, shall require these establishments to document motor vehicles repaired and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) purchased.
(c) After October 1, 1989, no person shall sell any CFC coolant in a container smaller than 15 pounds, unless it bears a warning label indicating the product’s danger to ozone in the stratosphere. After January 1, 1991, no person shall sell or offer for sale:
(1) CFC coolant, suitable for use in motor vehicle air conditioners, for noncommercial or nonindustrial usage; or
(2) CFC coolant, suitable for use in motor vehicle air conditioners, in containers smaller than 15 pounds.
(d) No motor vehicle with a model year of 1995 or later may be registered in the State or sold to a consumer or dealer in the State, if it contains air conditioning that uses CFCs. No new motor vehicle may be sold or offered for retail sale in the State if it contains air conditioning that uses CFCs, unless it bears an 8-inch by 11-inch placard attached to a passenger window that reads as follows: “AIR CONDITIONING IN THIS VEHICLE CONTAINS CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS (CFCS). CFCS DEPLETE THE EARTH’S PROTECTIVE OZONE LAYER, CAUSING SKIN CANCER AND ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE.”
(e) As used in this section, “motor vehicle” shall have the same meaning as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4.
(f) The Secretary, by January 15, 1992, shall report to the General Assembly with regard to the condition of the stratospheric ozone layer and the latest information as to the causes of that condition. The report also shall address the progress being made by manufacturers of motor vehicles that are commonly sold or registered in this State in developing and completing production of motor vehicles that have air conditioning that use refrigerants other than CFCs. This report shall include any appropriate recommendations. (Added 1989, No. 59, § 1; amended 1991, No. 46, § 1; 2021, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2022.)
§ 574. Regulation of ozone-depleting products
(a) After January 1, 1990, no person shall sell or offer to sell fire extinguishers for noncommercial or nonindustrial usage, if those fire extinguishers contain halons or other ozone-depleting substances as may be identified by rule of the Secretary; sales to fire departments, for their own use, shall not be prohibited.
(b) After January 1, 1990, no person shall sell or offer to sell:
(1) CFC cleaning sprays for noncommercial or nonindustrial usage in cleaning electronic and photographic equipment,
(2) CFC propelled plastic party streamers, or
(3) CFC noise horns.
(c) The Secretary, by rule adopted no earlier than March 1, 1990, may require the usage of equipment that meets standards established by the Underwriters Laboratories, or an institution determined by the Secretary to be comparable, for recovery and recycling of CFC coolant during the servicing of building air conditioning and of large refrigeration units, if the Secretary finds that equipment to be portable and suitable for those purposes.
(d) By January 15, 1990, the Secretary shall report to the natural resources and energy committees of the General Assembly with the following:
(1) an analysis of the uses within the State of ozone-depleting chemicals;
(2) the advantages and disadvantages of alternatives to those chemicals (both in terms of impacts on the ozone and in terms of other health and environmental impacts);
(3) opportunities for recovery and recycling of these chemicals;
(4) any rules proposed under subsection (c) of this section; and
(5) any appropriate recommendations for action by the State.
(e) The Secretary, by January 15, 1991, shall report to the natural resources and energy committees of the General Assembly with recommendations for the systematic retrieval, storage, and appropriate reuse of CFCs from refrigerators, air conditioners, and motor vehicles that face immediate disposal. This report shall consider, but shall not be limited to considering, regional CFC removal centers, circuit riding CFC removal equipment, or other appropriate procedures or equipment.
(f) After January 1, 1993, no person shall sell or offer to sell any aerosol-propelled consumer product, if it contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The Secretary, on application, may postpone the effect of the prohibition established under this subsection, on a case-by-case basis, upon finding that the product is a health, safety-related, or industrial product, for which acceptable alternatives are not available. Any postponement granted under this subsection shall be granted for a specified period of time, not to exceed one year. Extensions granted may be renewed, if appropriate.
(g) After January 1, 1993, no disposal facility or transfer station may dispose of a residential, institutional, commercial, or industrial refrigerator, freezer, refrigerator-freezer, air conditioner, or other cooling device or machine that uses CFCs, without ensuring the item in question is properly drained of CFCs, according to procedures established by rule of the Secretary.
(h) After January 1, 1993, no person shall sell or offer to sell cleaning liquid for the heads of videotape recorders, receivers, and other related machines, if that liquid contains ozone-depleting chemicals.
(i)(1) The Secretary, by rule, shall provide for the reclamation of CFCs recovered under the provisions of this section and section 573 of this title. The rules may provide standards for reclamation equipment and equipment operators, may allow reclamation through a central facility or by the establishment of on-site reclamation capabilities, may allow reclamation by the private sector, the municipalities, or solid waste management districts, and may establish State-operated reclamation efforts.
(2) Costs of CFC reclamation under this subsection shall be borne by the State. (Added 1989, No. 59, § 1; amended 1991, No. 266 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 4.)
§ 574a. Ozone-depleting chemicals in industry
(a) By July 1, 1993, any person who uses an ozone-depleting chemical as part of a manufacturing process (excluding any associated refrigeration or air conditioning) shall notify the Secretary of the person’s plans for eliminating the use of ozone-depleting chemicals through changes in production methods or processes, through the use of environmentally benign substitute chemicals, or through other methods acceptable to the Secretary, which shall:
(1) identify the alternatives considered, the alternative selected, and the basis for the selection;
(2) identify any discharges to the air and other media associated with the alternative selected;
(3) include interim measures, designed to minimize the release of the ozone-depleting chemicals to the environment until use of the ozone depleter ceases, or as expeditiously as practicable, but in no event later than July 1, 1995.
(b) Any emissions that may be associated with the alternative selected shall be in compliance with all other provisions of this chapter and rules adopted pursuant to this chapter.
(c) After July 1, 1995, no person shall use primary ozone-depleting chemicals, including those listed in subdivision 552(8)(A) of this title, as part of a manufacturing process, excluding any associated refrigeration and air conditioning.
(d) The Secretary, upon application by any person subject to this section, may extend the date provided in subdivision (a)(3) of this section, on a case-by-case basis, upon finding that acceptable methods for eliminating ozone-depleting chemicals are not available.
(1) An extension granted under this subsection shall be granted for a specified period of time, not to exceed one year. Extensions granted may be renewed, if appropriate.
(2) The Secretary may impose interim requirements to limit the emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals as a condition of any extension granted pursuant to this subsection. (Added 1991, No. 266 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 575. Hazardous air contaminant monitoring program
The Secretary shall establish a hazardous air contaminant monitoring program. The goals of the program shall be to:
(1) measure the presence of hazardous air contaminants in ambient air;
(2) identify sources of hazardous air contaminants;
(3) assess human health and ecological risk to focus studies on those air contaminants that pose the greatest risk;
(4) gather sufficient data to allow the Secretary to establish appropriately protective standards; and
(5) ensure adequate data are collected to support the State’s operating permit program. (Added 1993, No. 92, § 15.)
§ 576. Small equipment for burning waste oil
Effective July 1, 1997, the burning of waste oil in small fuel burning equipment described as “pot burners” or “vaporizing” burners shall be prohibited, as shall the retail sale of these burners. (Added 1993, No. 219 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 577. Prohibition on addition of gasoline ethers to fuel products
(a) Effective January 1, 2007, no person shall knowingly sell at retail in this State, sell for use in this State, or store in an underground or aboveground storage tank in this State any fuel product that contains a gasoline ether in a quantity greater than one-half of one percent per volume unless authorized under subsection (c) of this section. Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted to prohibit the transshipment of a fuel product containing a gasoline ether in a quantity greater than one-half of one percent per volume through the State for disposition outside the State. Transshipment does not include the storage of a fuel product coincident to shipment.
(b) As used in this section:
(1) “Ether” means an organic compound formed by the treatment of an alcohol with a dehydrating agent resulting in two organic radicals joined by an oxygen atom.
(2) “Fuel product” means gasoline, reformulated gasoline, benzene, benzol, diesel fuel, kerosene, or any other volatile and inflammable liquid that is produced, compounded, offered for sale, or used to generate power in an internal combustion engine.
(3) “Gasoline ether” means any ether added to a fuel product, including methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), tertiary amyl methyl ether (TAME), di-isopropyl ether (DIPE), and ethyl butyl ether (ETBE). “Gasoline ether” shall not include prepackaged goods intended for retail use, including starting fluid and octane booster.
(4) “Motor vehicle” means all vehicles propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power, except farm tractors, vehicles running only upon stationary rails or tracks, motorized highway building equipment, road-making appliances, snowmobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, tracked vehicles, or electric personal assistive mobility devices.
(5) “Race” means a race or contest on an oval track permitted under 26 V.S.A. § 4802 involving a motor vehicle at which prizes or other consideration is awarded to participants or admission is charged to spectators. However, this subdivision shall not apply to sports car events as that term is defined in 26 V.S.A. § 4801.
(c) A fuel product used by a motor vehicle in a race may contain a gasoline ether and may be sold at retail or sold at wholesale for use in a race in the State, provided that it is sold in prepackaged drums, pails, or containers. (Added 2005, No. 26, § 2; amended 2007, No. 55, § 1, eff. May 29, 2007.)
§ 578. Greenhouse gas reduction requirements
(a) Greenhouse gas reduction requirements. Vermont shall reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from within the geographical boundaries of the State and those emissions outside the boundaries of the State that are caused by the use of energy in Vermont, as measured and inventoried pursuant to section 582 of this title, by:
(1) not less than 26 percent from 2005 greenhouse gas emissions by January 1, 2025 pursuant to the State’s membership in the United States Climate Alliance and commitment to implement policies to achieve the objectives of the 2016 Paris Agreement;
(2) not less than 40 percent from 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by January 1, 2030 pursuant to the State’s 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan; and
(3) not less than 80 percent from 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by January 1, 2050 pursuant to the State’s 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan.
(b) Vermont climate collaborative. The Secretary will participate in the Vermont climate collaborative, a collaboration between State government and Vermont’s higher education, business, agricultural, labor, and environmental communities. Wherever possible, members of the collaborative shall be included among the membership of the program development working groups established by the climate change oversight committee created under 2008 Acts and Resolves No. 209, Sec. 14. State entities shall cooperate with the climate change oversight committee in pursuing the priorities identified by the committee. The Secretary shall notify the general public that the collaborative is developing greenhouse gas reduction programs and shall provide meaningful opportunity for public comment on program development. Programs shall be developed in a manner that implements State energy policy, as specified in 30 V.S.A. § 202a.
(c) Implementation of State programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In order to facilitate the State’s compliance with the goals established in this section, all State agencies shall consider any increase or decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in their decision-making procedures with respect to the purchase and use of equipment and goods; the siting, construction, and maintenance of buildings; the assignment of personnel; and the planning, design, and operation of programs, services, and infrastructure.
(d) Advocacy for cap and trade program for greenhouse gases, including those caused by transportation, heating, cooling, and ventilation. In order to increase the likelihood of the State meeting the goals established under this section, the Public Utility Commission, the Secretary of Natural Resources, and the Commissioner of Public Service shall advocate before appropriate regional or national entities and working groups in favor of the establishment of a regional or national cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions, including those caused by transportation, heating, cooling, and ventilation. This may take the form of an expansion of the existing regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI), or it may entail the creation of an entirely new and separate regional or national cap and trade initiative that includes a 100 percent consumer allocation system. (Added 2005, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2007, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 3a; 2019, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Sept. 22, 2020.)
§ 579. Vehicle emissions labeling program for new motor vehicles
(a) The Secretary of Natural Resources, in consultation with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, shall establish, by rule, a vehicle emissions labeling program for new motor vehicles sold or leased in the State with a model year of 2010 or later. The rules adopted under this section shall require automobile manufacturers to install the labels.
(b) Vehicle emissions labels under this program shall include the vehicle’s emissions score. The label required by subsection (a) of this section and the vehicle score included in the label shall be consistent with the labels and information required by other states, including the California motor vehicle greenhouse gas and smog index label and any revisions thereto. A label that complies with the requirements of the California vehicle labeling program shall be deemed to meet the requirements of this section and the rules adopted thereunder for the content of labels.
(c) The vehicle emissions label shall be affixed to the vehicle in a clearly visible location, as set forth by the Secretary of Natural Resources in rule.
(d) On or after the effective date of the rules adopted under subsection (a) of this section, no new motor vehicle shall be sold or leased in the State unless a vehicle emissions label that meets the requirements of this section and the rules adopted thereunder is affixed to the vehicle except in the case of a trade of a new motor vehicle by a Vermont dealer, as that term is defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4(8), with a dealer from another state that does not have a similar labeling law, provided that the motor vehicle involved in the trade is sold within 30 days of the trade.
(e) As used in this section, “motor vehicle” means all passenger cars, light duty trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less, and medium duty passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds that are designed primarily for the transportation of persons. (Added 2007, No. 55, § 2, eff. May 29, 2007.)
§ 580. 25 by 25 State goal
(a) It is a goal of the State, by the year 2025, to produce 25 percent of the energy consumed within the State through the use of renewable energy sources, particularly from Vermont’s farms and forests.
(b) By no later than January 15, 2009, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Service and the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation, shall present to the Committees on Agriculture and on Natural Resources and Energy of the General Assembly a plan for attaining this goal. Plan updates shall be presented no less frequently than every three years thereafter, and a progress report shall be due annually on January 15.
(c) By no later than January 15, 2009, the Department of Public Service shall present to the legislative committees on natural resources and energy an updated Comprehensive Energy Plan that shall give due consideration to the public engagement process required under 30 V.S.A. § 254 and under 2006 Acts and Resolves No. 208, Sec. 2. By that time, the Department of Public Service shall incorporate plans adopted under this section into the State Comprehensive Energy Plan adopted under 30 V.S.A. § 202b. (Added 2007, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.)
§ 581. Building efficiency goals
It shall be goals of the State:
(1) To improve substantially the energy fitness of at least 120,000 housing units and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 0.15 MMTCO2e by 2031.
(2) To reduce annual fuel needs and fuel bills by an average of 25 percent in the housing units served.
(3) To reduce total fossil fuel consumption across all buildings by an additional one-half percent each year, leading to a total reduction of six percent annually by 2017 and 10 percent annually by 2025.
(4) To save Vermont families and businesses a total of $1.5 billion on their fuel bills over the lifetimes of the improvements and measures installed between 2008 and 2017.
(5) To increase weatherization services to low-income Vermonters by expanding the number of units weatherized or the scope of services provided, or both, as revenue becomes available in the Home Weatherization Assistance Fund. (Added 2007, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; amended 2013, No. 50, § E.324.3; 2021, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § E.700, eff. July 1, 2022.)
§ 582. Greenhouse gas inventories; registry
(a) Inventory and forecasting. The Secretary shall work, in conjunction with other states or a regional consortium, to establish a periodic and consistent inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. The Secretary shall publish the Vermont Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory and Forecast by no later than June 1, 2010, and updates shall be published annually until 2028, until a regional or national inventory and registry program is established in which Vermont participates, or until the federal National Emissions Inventory includes mandatory greenhouse gas reporting.
(b) Inventory updates. To develop the Inventory under this section, the Secretary, in coordination with the Secretaries of Administration, of Transportation, of Agriculture, Food and Markets, and of Commerce and Community Development, and the Commissioner of Public Service, shall aggregate all existing statewide data on greenhouse gas emissions currently reported to State or federal entities, existing statewide data on greenhouse gas sinks, and otherwise publicly available data. Greenhouse gas emissions data that is more than 36 months old shall be updated either by statistical methods or seeking updated information from the reporting agency or department. The information shall be standardized to reflect the emissions in tons per CO2 equivalent, shall be set out in the inventory by sources or sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, automobile emissions, heating, and electricity production, shall be compatible with the inventory included with the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change final report and shall include, the following sources:
(1) information collected for reporting in the National Emissions Inventory, which includes air toxics, criteria pollutants, mobile sources, point sources, and area sources;
(2) in-state electricity production using RGGI and State permit information;
(3) vehicle miles traveled and vehicle registration data; and
(4) agricultural activities, including livestock and crop practices.
(c) Forecast. The Secretary shall use best efforts to forecast statewide emissions for a five- and ten-year period based on the inventory data and other publicly available information.
(d) Registry. The Secretary shall work, in conjunction with other states or a regional consortium, to establish a regional or national greenhouse gas registry.
(1) Any registry in which Vermont participates shall be designed to apply to the entire State and to as large a geographic area beyond State boundaries as is possible.
(2) It shall accommodate as broad an array of sectors, sources, facilities, and approaches as is possible, and shall allow sources to start as far back in time as is permitted by good data, affirmed by third-party verification.
(e) Rules. The Secretary may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section and shall review existing and proposed international, federal, and State greenhouse gas emission reporting programs and make reasonable efforts to promote consistency among the programs established pursuant to this section and other programs, and to streamline reporting requirements on greenhouse gas emission sources. Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, nothing in this section shall limit a State agency from adopting any rule within its authority.
(f) Participation by government subdivisions. The State and its municipalities may participate in the inventory for purposes of registering reductions associated with their programs, direct activities, or efforts, including the registration of emission reductions associated with the stationary and mobile sources they own, lease, or operate.
(g) Greenhouse gas accounting. In consultation with the Department of Public Service created under 30 V.S.A. § 1, the Secretary shall research and adopt by rule greenhouse gas accounting protocols that achieve transparent and accurate life cycle accounting of greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions of such gases from the use of fossil fuels and from renewable fuels such as biomass. On adoption, such protocols shall be the official protocols to be used by any agency or political subdivision of the State in accounting for greenhouse gas emissions. (Added 2007, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2011, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 14.)
§ 583. Repeal of stage II vapor recovery requirements
(a) Effective January 1, 2013, all rules of the Secretary pertaining to stage II vapor recovery controls at gasoline dispensing facilities are repealed. The Secretary may not issue further rules requiring such controls. For purposes of this section, “stage II vapor recovery” means a system for gasoline vapor recovery of emissions from the fueling of motor vehicles as described in 42 U.S.C. § 7511a(b)(3).
(b) Prior to January 1, 2013, stage II vapor recovery rules shall not apply to:
(1) Any newly constructed gasoline dispensing facility that commences operation after May 1, 2009;
(2) Any existing gasoline dispensing facility that has an annual gasoline throughput of 400,000 gallons or more for the first time beginning with the 2009 calendar year;
(3) Any existing gasoline dispensing facility that, after May 1, 2009, commences excavation for the installation or repair of any below-ground component of the stage II vapor recovery system, including gasoline storage tanks, upon verification and approval by the Secretary; or
(4) Any existing gasoline dispensing facility that, after May 1, 2009, replaces all of its existing gasoline dispensers with gasoline dispensers that support triple data encryption standard (TDES) usage or replaces one or more of its gasoline dispensers pursuant to a plan to achieve full TDES compliance, upon verification and approval by the Secretary.
(c) Within two years of January 1, 2013, or of the Secretary’s verification and approval that such stage II vapor recovery rules do not apply to a gasoline dispensing facility pursuant to subdivision (b)(3) or (4) of this section, whichever is earlier, each gasoline dispensing facility shall decommission its stage II vapor recovery systems, including below-ground components, pursuant to methods approved by the Secretary. (Added 2009, No. 22, § 9(b); amended 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 43.)
§ 584. Inefficient outdoor wood-fired boiler change-out program; retirement
(a) At the earliest feasible date, the Secretary shall create and put into effect a change-out program within the Air Pollution Control Division of the Department of Environmental Conservation to purchase the retirement of inefficient, high emission outdoor wood-fired boilers (OWB) that will be replaced with OWBs or other heating appliances with substantially lower emissions and higher fuel efficiency.
(b) The Secretary shall fund this program using funds available to the State of Vermont for environmental mitigation projects under the consent decree approved on or about October 9, 2007, in the case of United States, et al. v. American Elec. Power Service Corp., et al., Civil Actions No. C2-99-1182, C2-99-1250, C2-04-1098, C2-05-360 (the AEP consent decree). The Secretary may add to this funding such additional monies as may be appropriated to the program authorized under this section or otherwise may be available by grant, contribution, or donation.
(c) The Secretary shall take all steps necessary to secure use of the funds from the AEP consent decree in the manner described in subsection (a) of this section.
(d)(1) To be eligible for the program under this section, an OWB shall be one that is not certified under the air pollution control regulations as meeting either the Phase I emission limit for particulate matter of 0.44 pounds per million British thermal units (BTUs) of heat input or the Phase II emission limit for particulate matter of 0.32 pounds per million BTUs of heat output.
(2) The Secretary may develop program eligibility criteria that are in addition to the criteria of subdivision (1) of this subsection. Such additional criteria may allow an OWB to be eligible for the program under this section even if the OWB does not meet the requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection. In developing these additional criteria, the Secretary shall consult with affected persons and entities such as the American Lung Association.
(e) An eligible OWB that is accepted into the change-out program under this section shall be:
(1) replaced with an OWB that is certified under the air pollution control regulations as a Phase II OWB with a particulate matter emission rate of no more than 0.32 pounds per million BTUs of heat output or another heating appliance that the Secretary determines has an equivalent or more stringent emission rate; and
(2) retired within a specified period not to exceed six months after acceptance into the program.
(f) In implementing the program required by this section, the Secretary:
(1) Shall give priority to replacing eligible OWBs that have resulted in complaints regarding emissions, including particulate matter or smoke, that the Agency has determined are valid, and have the highest emission rates, cause nuisance, or are within 200 feet of a residence, school, or health care facility.
(2) May allow replacement of an eligible OWB that is less than the required setback distance from a residence, school, or health care facility that is neither served by the OWB nor owned by the owner or lessee of the OWB with an OWB or heating appliance that is also less than the required setback distance from a residence, school, or health care facility, unless such location of the replacement OWB or heating appliance will cause a nuisance or will not comply with all applicable local ordinances and bylaws. For the purposes of this subdivision (2), “required setback distance” means the setback distance applicable to the OWB that is required by the air pollution control regulations.
(3) May require that an eligible OWB be replaced with a heating appliance that is not an OWB if, based on the Secretary’s consideration of area topography, air flows, site conditions, and other relevant factors, the Secretary determines that the replacement OWB would cause nuisance.
(4) To the extent practical, should provide over time for decreasing emission rates and increasing fuel efficiency requirements for replacement OWBs under this program as new technology for boilers becomes commercially available.
(g) Any OWB in the State that is not certified under the air pollution control regulations to meet the Phase I, Phase II, or a more stringent emission limit shall be retired on or before December 31, 2012, if the OWB is located within 200 feet of a residence, school, or health care facility that is neither served by the OWB nor owned by the owner or lessee of the OWB or has resulted or results in a complaint regarding emissions, including particulate matter or smoke, that the Agency has determined is valid.
(h) For the purpose of this section:
(1) “Outdoor wood-fired boiler” or “OWB” means a fuel-burning device designed to burn primarily wood that the manufacturer specifies should or may be installed outdoors or in structures not normally occupied by humans, such as attached or detached garages or sheds, and that heats spaces or water by the distribution through pipes of a fluid heated in the device, typically water or a mixture of water and antifreeze. In addition, this term also means any wood-fired boiler that is actually installed outdoors or in structures not normally occupied by humans, such as attached or detached garages or sheds, regardless of whether such use has been specified by the manufacturer.
(2) “Retire” means to remove an OWB permanently from service, disassemble it into its component parts, and either recycle those parts or dispose of them in accordance with applicable law.
(i) For the purpose of determinations under subdivisions (f)(1) (priority for change-out), (2) (installation of replacement OWB closer than the setback distance), and (3) (non-OWB replacement) of this section, “nuisance” means interference with the ordinary use or enjoyment of property caused by particulate matter, smoke, or other emissions of an OWB that a reasonable person would find disturbing, annoying, or physically uncomfortable. Precedence in time and balancing of harm shall be irrelevant to such determinations. This section shall not affect the burden or elements of proof with respect to a claim of nuisance caused by an OWB brought in a civil court under common law.
(j) The Secretary may adopt rules to implement this section. (Added 2009, No. 94 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 7, 2010; amended 2015, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 585. Heating oil content; sulfur; biodiesel
(a) Definitions. In this section:
(1) “Heating oil” means No. 2 distillate that meets the specifications or quality certification standard for use in residential, commercial, or industrial heating applications established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
(2) “Biodiesel” means monoalkyl esters derived from plant or animal matter that meet the registration requirements for fuels and fuel additives established by the Environmental Protection Agency under section 211 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7545), and the requirements of ASTM D6751-10.
(b) Sulfur content. Unless a requirement of this subsection is waived pursuant to subsection (e) of this section:
(1) On or before July 1, 2014, all heating oil sold within the State for residential, commercial, or industrial uses, including space and water heating, shall have a sulfur content of 500 parts per million or less.
(2) On or before July 1, 2018, all heating oil sold within the State for residential, commercial, or industrial uses, including space and water heating, shall have a sulfur content of 15 parts per million or less.
(c) Biodiesel content. Subsection (c) effective date delayed; see note set out below.
Unless a requirement of this subsection is waived pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, all heating oil sold within the State for residential, commercial, or industrial uses, including space and water heating, by volume shall:
(1) On or before July 1, 2012, contain at least three percent biodiesel.
(2) On or before July 1, 2015, contain at least five percent biodiesel.
(3) On or before July 1, 2016, contain at least seven percent biodiesel.
(d) Blending; certification. In the case of biodiesel and heating oil that has been blended by a dealer or seller of heating oil, the Secretary may allow the dealer or seller to demonstrate compliance with this section by providing documentation that the content of the blended fuel in each delivery load meets the requirements of this section.
(e) Temporary suspension. The Governor, by executive order, may temporarily suspend the implementation and enforcement of subsection (b) or (c) of this section if the Governor determines, after consulting with the Secretary and the Commissioner of Public Service, that meeting the requirements is not feasible due to an inadequate supply of the required fuel.
(f) Rules. The Secretary may adopt rules to implement this section. This section does not limit any authority of the Secretary to control the sulfur or biodiesel content of distillate or residual oils that do not constitute heating oil as defined in this section. (Added 2011, No. 47, § 19.)
§ 586. Regulation of hydrofluorocarbons
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Class I substance” and “class II substance” mean those substances listed in the 42 U.S.C. § 7671a, as it read on November 15, 1990 and Appendix A or B of Subpart A of 40 C.F.R. Part 82, as those read on January 3, 2017.
(2) “Hydrofluorocarbon” means a class of greenhouse gases that are saturated organic compounds containing hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon.
(3) “Residential consumer refrigeration product” has the same meaning as in Section 430.2 of Subpart A of 10 C.F.R. Part 430.
(4) “Retrofit” has the same meaning as in section 152 of Subpart F of 40 C.F.R. Part 82, as that section existed as of January 3, 2017.
(5) “Substitute” means a chemical, product, or alternative manufacturing process, whether new or retrofit, that is used to perform a function previously performed by a class I substance or class II substance and any substitute subsequently adopted to perform that function, including hydrofluorocarbons.
(b)(1) A person may not offer any product or equipment for sale, lease, or rent or install or otherwise cause any equipment or product to enter into commerce in Vermont if that equipment or product consists of, uses, or will use a substitute, as set forth in Appendix U or V, Subpart G of 40 C.F.R. Part 82, as those read on January 3, 2017, for the applications or end uses restricted by Appendix U or V, as those read on January 3, 2017, and consistent with the dates established in subdivision (4) of this subsection.
(2) Except where existing equipment is retrofit, nothing in this subsection requires a person that acquired a restricted product or equipment prior to an effective date of the restrictions in subdivision (4) of this subsection to cease use of that product or equipment.
(3) Products or equipment manufactured prior to an applicable effective date of the restrictions in subdivision (4) of this subsection may be sold, imported, exported, distributed, installed, and used after the specified effective date.
(4) The restrictions under subdivision (1) of this subsection shall take effect beginning:
(A) January 1, 2021, for propellants, rigid polyurethane applications and spray foam, flexible polyurethane, integral skin polyurethane, flexible polyurethane foam, polystyrene extruded sheet, polyolefin, phenolic insulation board and bunstock, supermarket systems, remote condensing units, stand-alone units, and vending machines;
(B) January 1, 2021, for refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment, compact residential consumer refrigeration products, polystyrene extruded boardstock and billet, and rigid polyurethane low-pressure two component-spray foam;
(C) January 1, 2022, for residential consumer refrigeration products other than compact and built-in residential consumer refrigeration products;
(D) January 1, 2023, for cold storage warehouses and built-in residential consumer refrigeration products;
(E) January 1, 2024, for centrifugal chillers and positive displacement chillers;
(F) January 1, 2020, or the effective date of the restrictions identified in appendix U or V, Subpart G of 40 C.F.R. Part 82, as those read on January 3, 2017, whichever comes later, for all other applications and end uses for substitutes not covered by the categories listed in subdivisions (A) through (E) of this subsection (b);
(G) July 1, 2022, for refrigeration systems used in ice skating rinks; and
(H) January 1, 2023, for containers designed for consumer recharge of motor vehicle air conditioners that use substitutes prohibited under this section.
(c) The Secretary may adopt rules that include any of the following:
(1) The modification of the date of a prohibition established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section if the Secretary determines that the modified deadline meets both of the following criteria:
(A) reduces the overall risk to human health or the environment; and
(B) reflects the earliest date that a substitute is currently or potentially available.
(2) The prohibition on the use of any substitute if the Secretary determines that the prohibition meets both of the following criteria:
(A) reduces the overall risk to human health or the environment; and
(B) a lower-risk substitute is currently or potentially available.
(3) The creation of a list of approved substitutes, use conditions, or use limits, if any, and the addition or removal of substitutes, use conditions, or use limits to or from the list of approved substitutes if the Secretary determines those substitutes reduce the overall risk to human health and the environment.
(4) The creation of a list of exemptions from this section for medical uses of hydrofluorocarbons.
(d) If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approves a previously prohibited hydrofluorocarbon blend with a global warming potential of 750 or less for foam blowing of polystyrene extruded boardstock and billet and rigid polyurethane low-pressure two-component spray foam pursuant to the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program under section 7671(k) of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.), the Secretary shall expeditiously propose a rule to conform to the requirements established under this section with that federal action.
(e) The Secretary of Administration shall include in Administrative Bulletin 3.5 a requirement that State procurement contracts shall not include products that contain hydrofluorocarbons, as prohibited in this section. (Added 2019, No. 65, § 1; amended 2021, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. July 1, 2022.)