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ACT SUMMARY 2007-2008

SUMMARY OF THE 2008 ACTS AND RESOLVES View the complete text of this act

ACT NO. 191


Conservation; enforcement

This act amends the statutory authority for the enforcement of the state’s environmental laws. The act defines what constitutes economic benefit to a violator of an environmental law and allows for the economic benefit resulting from a violation to be assessed in addition to a monetary penalty. The maximum amount of monetary penalties that the agency of natural resources (ANR), the land use panel, or the attorney general can seek for a violation of an environmental law is increased. The act clarifies that ANR possesses the authority to issue compliance schedules. The act also establishes requirements for approval and completion of a contribution or supplemental environmental project as part of a penalty. Under the act, an administrative order against a respondent could be finalized without initiation of a complaint in the environmental court if the order meets notice requirements, the respondent is properly served, the respondent does not request a hearing, and the environmental court signs the order. The act also permits ANR to stay an application for a permit when a permit applicant has a current violation. ANR shall stay a permit application when a respondent, except for a municipality, fails to pay an assessed penalty or contribution within the prescribed time period. ANR and the land use panel are authorized to collect interest on a penalty or contribution that a respondent fails to pay within the prescribed time, and the cost of collection of a penalty shall be added to the penalty assessed against a respondent. In addition, the act requires ANR to report to the General Assembly regarding several issues including the establishment of a database on enforcement actions, the feasibility of deputizing ANR’s environmental enforcement officers as deputy game wardens, ANR’s enforcement of the potable water supply and wastewater system permits, ANR’s enforcement of the stormwater construction permits, and recommended changes to the enforcement authority of the department of forests, parks and recreation.

Effective Date: July 1, 2008.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont