The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
§ 601. Local health officials
(a) The Commissioner shall appoint, upon recommendation of the selectboard, a local health officer for each town or city, and the Commissioner shall give such officer a certificate of appointment. The Commissioner may appoint one or more deputy local health officers for a town or city upon written request of the local board of health. In case the selectboard neglect or refuse to recommend to the Commissioner a local health officer, the Commissioner after 30 days’ notice in writing to the selectboard shall appoint a local health officer.
(b) With the approval of the Commissioner, towns and cities may combine to form health districts. The towns and cities in such districts, through their selectboards, may recommend to the Commissioner the appointment of a district health officer. They may establish an advisory district board of health and provide for appointment and terms of service of members who shall be representative citizens of the towns in the health district. The district health officer may perform the duties of local health officer in any town or city in the district at any time after written notice to the selectboard. The district health officer, when authorized by the selectboard of each town or city in the health district and with the advice of the district board of health, may employ such persons as may be necessary to assist such officer in carrying on a preventive, protective, and promotional health program in his or her district. Towns in a district may use local tax revenues for the support of the district health officer, advisory board, employees, and programs, and the district board of health may accept grants for those purposes.
(c) The Commissioner may remove a local health officer at any time for cause. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment was made. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 39; 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 17.)
§ 602. Compensation of health officers
(a) All compensation for services rendered by local health officers appointed under section 601 of this title shall be provided by and under the control of the selectboard.
(b) The selectboard may reimburse local health officers appointed under section 601 of this title for all reasonable expenses incurred by such local health officers in the execution of their duties. (Amended 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 18.)
§ 602a. Duties of local health officers
(a) A local health officer, within his or her jurisdiction, shall:
(1) upon receipt of information regarding a condition that may be a public health hazard, conduct an investigation;
(2) enforce the provisions of this title, the rules promulgated, and permits issued thereunder;
(3) prevent, remove, or destroy any public health hazard or mitigate any significant public health risk in accordance with the provisions of this title;
(4) in consultation with the Department, take the steps necessary to enforce all orders issued pursuant to chapter 3 of this title; and
(5) have the authority to assist the Department of Public Safety in inspecting rental housing pursuant to 20 V.S.A. chapter 172, provided that if the local health officer inspects a rental property without an inspector from the Division, the officer shall issue an inspection report in compliance with 20 V.S.A § 2677(b)(2).
(b) Upon discovery of violation or a public health hazard or public health risk that involves a public water system, a food or lodging establishment, or any other matter regulated by Department rule, the local health officer shall immediately notify the Division of Environmental Health. Upon discovery of any other violation, public health hazard, or public health risk, the local health officer shall notify the Division of Environmental Health within 48 hours of discovery of such violation or hazard and of any action taken by the officer. (Added 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; amended 2017, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2021, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. July 1, 2022.)
§ 603. Repealed. 2021, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 7, 2022.
(Added 2017, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 2019, No. 48, § 6.)
§ 604. Local Board of Health
The local health officer, with the selectboard of the town, or the city council of a city, shall constitute a local board of health for such town or city. (Amended 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)
§ 605. Local health officer as secretary and executive officer of local board
The local health officer shall be the secretary and executive officer of the local board of health, and shall hold office for three years, and until a successor is appointed. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 21.)
§§ 606, 607. Repealed. 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 28.
§ 608. Inspection of schoolhouses and public buildings
The health officer, under the direction of the Board, shall make a sanitary survey of each schoolhouse, all school lunch facilities, and any building used for public purposes, and annually in the month of February report to the Board, and to the city council or the annual town meeting, as the case may be. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961.)
§§ 609-612. Repealed. 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 28.
§ 613. Powers of local board
(a) A local board of health may make and enforce rules in such town or city relating to the prevention, removal, or destruction of public health hazards and the mitigation of public health risks, provided that such rules have been approved by the Commissioner. Such rules shall be posted and published in the same manner that ordinances of the municipality are required to be posted and published.
(b) A local board’s jurisdiction over sewage disposal includes emergent conditions which create a risk to the public health as a result of sewage treatment and disposal, or its effects on water supply, but does not include the power to adopt ordinances, rules, or regulations relating to design standards for on-site sewage disposal systems. The board may act to abate nuisances affecting public health caused by the failure of a sewage disposal system to:
(1) prevent surfacing of sewage and the creation of a health hazard; or
(2) prevent the pollution or contamination of drinking water supplies, groundwater, and surface water; or
(3) maintain sanitary and healthful conditions during operation.
(c) All rules or ordinances adopted by a local board of health shall be consistent with the purposes, policies, and provisions of this title. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1983, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 22; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 54.)
§ 614. Repealed. 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 28.
§ 615. Approval of selectboard
A local health officer shall not incur significant expense to the town or city for the prevention, removal, or destruction of any public health hazard or the mitigation of any public health risk without the consent and approval of the selectboard of such town or city. (Amended 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 23.)
§ 616. Repealed. 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 28.
§ 617. Assistance by officers; penalty for neglect
(a) The local health officer or local board of health may call upon sheriffs, constables, and police officers to assist it in the proper discharge of its duties. A sheriff, constable, or police officer who neglects or refuses to render such assistance shall be fined not more than $200.00.
(b) A local health officer may call upon State health officials for technical or other assistance. (Amended 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 24.)
§§ 618-621. Repealed. 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 28.
§ 622. Health officers for unorganized towns and gores
The Commissioner shall have power to designate a local health officer of a town adjoining an unorganized town or gore as the local health officer of such unorganized town or gore. Such health officer shall report to the Commissioner every violation of this title or any rule adopted, permit or order issued thereunder, and any public health hazard or public health risk of which such officer has knowledge as existing in such unorganized town or gore, and, in such unorganized town or gore, shall perform all acts required of the local health officer of a town. Upon receiving such information from such health officer, the Commissioner shall perform all acts in relation to such cases the same as if such information came from the local health officer of a town. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 25.)
§ 623. Compensation and expenses
The services and expenses of a local health officer of unorganized towns and gores, with the approval of the Commissioner, shall be paid by the State from the taxes collected from such unorganized town or gore wherein the services were rendered or the expense incurred. The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall issue a warrant therefor. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 26.)
§ 624. Actions against local health officers
Actions taken by local health officers or by any other person given authority by chapters 3 and 11 of this title shall be considered to be actions taken by State employees for the purposes of 3 V.S.A. chapter 29 and 12 V.S.A. chapter 189 if such actions occurred within the scope of such person’s duties. (Added 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 27.)