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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 10 : Conservation and Development

Chapter 159 : WASTE MANAGEMENT

Subchapter 001 : GENERAL PROVISIONS

(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 6610a)
  • § 6610a. Enforcement

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Secretary, upon receipt of information that the storage, transportation, treatment, or disposal of any solid waste or hazardous waste may present a hazard to the health of persons or to the environment or may be in violation of any provision of this chapter, the rules adopted thereunder, or the terms or conditions of any order or certification issued under this chapter, may take such action as the Secretary determines to be necessary. The action the Secretary may take includes:

    (1) After notice and opportunity for hearing, issuing an order directing any person to take such steps as are necessary to prevent the act, correct the condition, or eliminate the practice which constitutes such hazard or violation. Such action may include, with respect to a facility or site, permanent or temporary cessation of operation.

    (2) Requesting that the Attorney General or appropriate State's Attorney commence an action for injunctive relief, or for the imposition of penalties and fines as provided in section 6612 of this title and other relief as appropriate. The court may issue a temporary injunction or order in any such proceedings and may exercise all the plenary powers available to it in addition to the power to:

    (A) enjoin future activities;

    (B) order the design, construction, installation, or operation of abatement of facilities or alternate disposal systems;

    (C) order removal of all wastes and restoration of the environment and health;

    (D) fix and order compensation for any public property destroyed, damaged, or injured;

    (E) assess and award punitive damages; and

    (F) order reimbursement to any agency of federal, state, or local government from any person whose act caused governmental expenditures under section 1283 of this title.

    (3) Using the assurance of discontinuance procedures under 3 V.S.A. § 2822(c) without making efforts to secure voluntary compliance that would otherwise be required by 3 V.S.A. § 2822(d).

    (b) The hearing by the Secretary under subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall be conducted as a contested case. The Secretary may issue an emergency order without a prior hearing when an ongoing violation presents an immediate threat of substantial harm to the environment or an immediate threat to the public health. An emergency order shall be effective upon actual notice to the person against whom the order is issued. Any person to whom an emergency order is issued shall be given the opportunity for a hearing within five business days of the date the order is issued.

    (c) This subsection shall apply only to facilities subject to exemption from the provisions of chapter 151 of this title, as provided by the provisions of subsection 6081(h) of this title. With respect to facilities subject to this subsection, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Secretary may take such action as the Secretary determines to be necessary, upon receipt of information that the storage, transportation, treatment, or disposal of any solid waste or hazardous waste may present a hazard to the health of persons or to the environment or may be in violation of any provision of this chapter, the rules adopted thereunder, or the terms or conditions of any order or certification issued under this chapter, or upon receipt of information that a solid waste disposal facility has failed to perform closure and post-closure operations as deemed necessary by the Secretary to preserve and protect the air, groundwater, surface water, public health, and the environment. The action the Secretary may take includes:

    (1) After notice and opportunity for hearing, issuing an order directing any person to take such steps as are necessary to prevent the act, correct the condition, or eliminate the practice which constitutes such hazard or violation. Such action may include, with respect to a facility or site, permanent or temporary cessation of operation.

    (2) Requesting that the Attorney General or appropriate State's Attorney commence an action for injunctive relief, or for the imposition of penalties and fines as provided in section 6612 of this title and other relief as appropriate. The court may issue a temporary injunction or order in any such proceedings and may exercise all the plenary powers available to it in addition to the power to:

    (A) enjoin future activities;

    (B) order the design, construction, installation, or operation of abatement facilities or alternate disposal systems, final cover systems and lining measures, monitoring, reporting and evaluation, remediation measures, financial responsibility and capability mechanisms, and other requirements deemed necessary and no less stringent than minimum program requirements by the Secretary;

    (C) order removal of all wastes and restoration of the environment and health;

    (D) fix and order compensation for any public property destroyed, damaged, or injured;

    (E) assess and award punitive damages; and

    (F) order reimbursement to any agency of federal, state, or local government from any person whose act caused governmental expenditures under section 1283 of this title. (Added 1983, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; amended 1987, No. 78, § 13; 1987, No. 282 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; 1993, No. 208 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 37; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 49.)