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H.708

Introduced by   Representatives Marcotte of Coventry, Howrigan of Fairfield, Sweaney of Windsor and Young of Orwell

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Conservation; municipal government; junkyard; agency of natural resources

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to transfer jurisdiction over the regulation of junkyards from the agency of transportation to the secretary of natural resources.  It also proposes to revise the definition of “junkyard” to include places of outdoor storage of junk, whether or not those places are used in connection with a business.  It proposes to establish a permanent position in the department of environmental conservation and to appropriate funds to carry out the purposes of this act.

AN ACT RELATING TO PROVIDING THAT JUNKYARDS SHALL BE REGULATED BY THE SECRETARY OF NATURAL RESOURCES INSTEAD OF THE AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION

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

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 2241 is amended to read:

§ 2241.  Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter:

* * *

(2)  “Board” means the state transportation board, or its duly delegated representative.

* * *

(7)  “Junkyard” means any place of outdoor storage or deposit which is maintained, operated or used in connection with a business for storing, keeping, processing, buying, or selling junk or as a scrap metal processing facility.  “Junkyard” also means any place of outdoor storage or deposit, not in connection with a business which is maintained or used for storing or keeping four or more junk motor vehicles which are visible from any portion of a public highway.  However, the term does not include a private garbage dump or a sanitary landfill which is in compliance with section 2202 of this title and the regulations of the secretary of human services.  It does not mean a garage where wrecked or disabled motor vehicles are stored for less than 90 days for inspection or repairs.

* * *

(13)  “Secretary” means the secretary of natural resources or the secretary’s designee.

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 2243 is amended to read:

§ 2243.  Agency of transportation natural resources;

              responsibilities; duties

The secretary of the agency of transportation natural resources is designated as the state agency for the purpose of responsible for carrying out the provisions of this subchapter and shall have the following additional responsibilities and powers:

(1)  It The secretary may make such reasonable rules and regulations as it the secretary deems necessary, provided such rules and regulations do not conflict with any federal laws, rules, and regulations, or the provisions of this subchapter.

(2)  It The secretary shall enter into agreements with the United States Secretary of Transportation or his or her representatives in order to designate those areas of the state which are properly zoned or used for industrial activities, and to arrange for federal cost participation.

(3)  It The secretary shall determine the effectiveness of the screening of any junkyard affected by this subchapter.

(4)  It The secretary shall determine whether any junkyard must be screened or removed and may order such screening or any removal.

(5)  It The secretary shall approve and pay from funds appropriated for this purpose costs incurred under section 2264 of this title, and may refuse payment of all or part of such costs when it finds upon finding they are unreasonable or unnecessary.

(6)  It may seek an injunction against the establishment, operation or maintenance of a junkyard which is or will be in violation of this subchapter and may obtain compliance with its orders for screening or removal by a petition to the superior court for the county in which the junkyard is located The secretary may enforce the provisions of this chapter under chapter 201 of Title 10.

(7)  It The secretary shall conduct a continuing survey of all highways for the purpose of determining the status of junkyards affected and that the provisions of this subchapter are properly observed.

(8)  It The secretary may issue necessary orders, findings, and directives, and do all other things reasonably necessary and proper to carry out the purpose of this subchapter.

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 2245 is amended to read:

§ 2245.  Incinerators, sanitary landfills, etc., excepted

The provisions of this subchapter shall not be construed to apply to incinerators, sanitary landfills, or open dumps wholly owned or leased and operated by a municipality for the benefit of its citizens, or to any private garbage dump or any sanitary landfill which is in compliance with section 2202 of this title and the regulations of the secretary of human services solid waste management facilities regulated under 10 V.S.A. chapter 159.

Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 2253(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Notwithstanding any provision of this subchapter, junkyards and scrap metal processing facilities, may be operated within areas adjacent to the interstate and primary highway systems, which are within one thousand 1,000 feet of the nearest edge of the right-of-way, provided they are zoned industrial under authority of state law, or if not zoned industrial under authority of state law, are used for industrial activities as determined by the board secretary with the approval of the United States Secretary of Transportation.

Sec. 5.  24 V.S.A. § 2257 is amended to read:

§ 2257.  Screening requirements; fencing

* * *

(d)  Where the topography, natural growth of timber, or other natural barrier screen screens the junkyard from view in part, the agency secretary shall upon granting the license, require the applicant to screen only those parts of the junkyard not so screened.

Sec. 6.  24 V.S.A. § 2261 is amended to read:

§ 2261.  APPLICATION

Application for a license to operate, maintain, or establish a junkyard shall be made in writing to the agency secretary upon a form prescribed by it the secretary.

Sec. 7.  24 V.S.A. § 2262 is amended to read:

§ 2262.  Eligibility

The agency secretary shall issue a license if it finds upon finding:

(1)  The applicant is able to comply with the provisions of this subchapter.

(2)  The applicant has filed a currently valid certificate of approval of location with the agency secretary.

(3)  The junkyard will not adversely affect the public health, welfare, or safety and will not constitute a nuisance at common law.

(4)  The applicant has complied with regulations of the agency secretary issued under section 2243 of this title and with screening requirements which, under limitations of the surrounding terrain, are capable of feasibly and effectively screening the junkyard from view of the main traveled way of all highways.

Sec. 8.  24 V.S.A. § 2272 is amended to read:

§ 2272.  Taking title to junk motor vehicles

(a)  A junk motor vehicle discovered in violation of section 2271 of this title shall be removed from view of the main traveled way of the highway by the owner of the land upon which it is discovered, upon receiving written notice from the agency of transportation secretary to do so, if such owner holds title to the motor vehicle.

(b)  If the owner of the land upon which a junk motor vehicle is discovered in violation of section 2271 of this title, does not hold or disclaims title, and the true owner of the motor vehicle is known or can be ascertained, the motor vehicle owner shall dispose of such motor vehicle in such a manner that it is no longer visible from the main traveled way of the highway upon receiving written notice from the agency of transportation secretary to do so.

(c)  The owner of land upon which a motor vehicle is left in violation of section 2271 of this title may, without incurring any civil liability or criminal penalty to the owner of such vehicles, remove the vehicle from the place where it is discovered to any other place on any property owned by him or her, and if so removed, he the owner shall notify the agency of transportation secretary and local or state police, in writing, forthwith.  Within ten days after notification, the agency of transportation secretary shall cause the vehicle to be taken under its secretary’s control and disposed of as hereafter provided.

(d)  [Repealed.]

Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 2273 is amended to read:

§ 2273.  Agency of transportation SECRETARY OF NATURAL

  RESOURCES; duties; general authority

The agency of transportation secretary is authorized to contract in the name of the state for the service of independent contractors under bond to carry on at the contractor’s expense junk car collection and disposal operations.  The agency secretary shall maintain a continuing inventory of junk cars for disposal, select areas appropriate for collection, storage, and disposal of junk motor vehicles, and have general authority to contract and do all things reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, the agency secretary may petition the superior court of the county in which a junk motor vehicle is discovered in violation of section 2271 of this title for an order issue an administrative order under chapter 201 of Title 10 directing the owner to remove the motor vehicle from view of the main traveled way of the highway.

Sec. 10.  10 V.S.A. § 8003(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The secretary may take action under this chapter to enforce the following statutes:

* * *

(16)  10 V.S.A. chapter 162, relating to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact;

(17)  10 V.S.A. § 2625, relating to heavy cutting of timber; and

(18)  10 V.S.A. chapter 164, relating to comprehensive mercury management; and

(19)  24 V.S.A. chapter 51, subchapter 10, relating to junkyards.

Sec. 11.  REPEAL

24 V.S.A. §§ 2281 (injunctions and other remedies), 2282 (penalty), and 2283 (appeals) are repealed.

Sec. 12.  POSITION

The establishment of the following position is authorized for the department of environmental conservation:  one (1) full-time, classified employee.  For fiscal year 2007, there is appropriated to the department of environmental conservation the amount of $30,000.00 from the general fund for personal services and $10,000.00 from the general fund for operating expenses in order to accomplish the purpose of this act.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us