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H.187

Introduced by   Representatives Masland of Thetford, Darrow of Dummerston, Edwards of Brattleboro, Kiss of Burlington, Maier of Middlebury and McCullough of Williston

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Municipal government; solid waste; enforcement

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to revise municipal authority to enforce solid waste violations to include the power to enforce against illegal burning of solid waste.  The bill also proposes to provide that municipal enforcement of solid waste violations does not preclude state enforcement.

AN ACT RELATING TO MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE AGAINST ILLEGAL BURNING OF SOLID WASTE

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 2201 is amended to read:

§ 2201.  THROWING, DEPOSITING, BURNING, AND DUMPING REFUSE; PENALTY; SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT

(a)(1)  Prohibition.  Every person shall be responsible for proper disposal of his or her own solid waste.  A person shall not throw, dump, deposit, cause, or permit to be thrown, dumped, or deposited, bottles, glass, crockery, cans, scrap metal, plastic, any solid waste as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6602, junk, paper, garbage, old automobiles, or parts thereof, refuse of whatever nature, or any noxious thing on lands of others or within 300 feet of the lands of others, public or private, or into the waters of this state, or on the shores or banks thereof or on or within view of a public highway outside a solid waste management facility certified by the agency of natural resources.  It shall be prima facie evidence that a person who is identifiable from an examination of the refuse, that is illegally dumped, illegally disposed solid waste is the person who violated a provision of this section.

(2)  No person shall burn or cause to be burned in the open or incinerate in any container, furnace, or other device any solid waste without:

(A)  first having obtained all necessary permits from the agency of natural resources, the district environmental commission, and the municipality where the burning is to take place; and

(B)  complying with all relevant state and local regulations and ordinances.

(b)  Prosecution of violations.  A person who violates a provision of this section commits a civil violation and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500.00.  This violation shall be enforceable in the judicial bureau pursuant to the provisions of chapter 29 of Title 4 in an action that may be brought by a municipal attorney, solid waste management district attorney, environmental enforcement officer employed by the agency of natural resources, grand juror, or designee of the legislative body of the municipality, or by any duly authorized law enforcement officer.  If the throwing, placing, or depositing was done from a motor vehicle, except a motor bus, it shall be prima facie evidence that the throwing, placing, or depositing was done by the driver of such motor vehicle.  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the operation of an automobile graveyard or junkyard as defined in section 2241 of this title, nor shall anything in this section be construed as prohibiting the installation and use of appropriate receptacles for solid waste provided by the state or towns.  Sanitary land fills, recycling centers, and incinerators maintained pursuant to section 2202 of this title; and solid waste from mining, quarrying, farming operations, or logging and sawmill operations are exempt from the restrictions set forth above concerning the distance of 300 feet and visibility from a public highway.

(c)  Roadside cleanup.  A person found in violation of this section may be assigned to spend up to 80 hours collecting trash or litter from a specified segment of roadside or from a specified area of public property.

(d)  The commissioner of motor vehicles shall suspend the motor vehicle operator’s license or operating privilege of a person found in violation of this section for a period of ten days if the person fails to pay the penalty set forth in subsection (b) of this section.  This provision shall not apply if the only evidence of violation is the presumption set forth in subsection (b) of this section.  The bureau shall immediately notify the commissioner of the department of motor vehicles of the entry of judgment.

(e)  The commissioner of fish and wildlife shall revoke the privilege of a person found in violation of this section from holding a hunting or fishing license, or both, for a period of one year from the date of the conviction, if the person fails to pay the penalty set forth in subsection (b) of this section.  The bureau shall immediately notify the commissioner of fish and wildlife of the entry of judgment.

(f)  [Deleted.]

(g)  Amendment of complaint.  A person authorized to enforce this section may amend or dismiss a complaint issued by that person by marking the complaint and returning it to the judicial bureau.  At the hearing, a person authorized to enforce this section may amend or dismiss a complaint issued by that person, subject to the approval of the hearing judge.

(h)  [Deleted.] 

(i)  Enforcement actions taken under this section shall in no way preclude the agency of natural resources, the attorney general, or an appropriate state prosecutor from initiating other or further enforcement actions under the civil, administrative, or criminal enforcement provisions of 10 V.S.A. chapters 23, 47, 159, 201, or 211.  To the extent that enforcement under this section is by an environmental enforcement officer employed by the agency of natural resources, enforcement under this section shall preclude other enforcement by the agency for the same offence.

Sec. 2.  4 V.S.A. § 1102(b)(6) is amended to read:

(b)  The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

* * *

(6)  violations of 24 V.S.A. § 2201, relating to littering, burning of solid waste, and illegal dumping;



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us