State of Vermont
Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Compliance & Enforcement Division
Press Release

October 07, 2002
Don Weston

Agricultural land can't be used a solid waste dump, the Vermont Environmental Court has ruled.

A Williston contractor has been fined $14,640 for violating an Act 250 permit and Vermont's Solid Waste Management Rules.

In a decision handed down last week Environmental Court Judge Merideth Wright said Don Weston, by failing to use stock piled chicken manure for soil enrichment, had in fact been storing solid waste outside a certified facility.

In the early summer of 2000 Weston dumped 75 cubic yards of chicken manure on his 146-acre property close to the property line of three adjoining residential lots.

Vermont Department of Agriculture inspectors first went to the property in November 2000 following odor and fly infestation complaints from Weston's neighbors. The 75 cubic yards of chicken waste, which had been delivered to the property in late May or early June of 2000, was spread on December 14, 2000 - the last day before the winter spreading ban came into effect.

In the mid summer of 2001 Weston dumped more chicken waste, including rotting carcasses, close to the neighbors' property line. Weston came to the property occasionally to turn the pile, in particular the Fridays before holiday weekends.

When Weston had not used the stock piled material on agricultural fields by September 18, 2001, the Agency of Natural Resources issued a Notice of Alleged Violation for storing solid waste without a permit. In addition Weston faces a charge of violating his Act 250 permit which required a 33 acre 'agricultural area' of his property be cut for hay each year and fertilized at least once every three years.

The Environmental Court found that Weston received an economic benefit of $14,000 by not paying to have the field hayed twice a year for two years and avoided approximately $640 in costs by not removing the chicken material when directed to do so.

For Further Information please contact:
Attorney Catherine Gjessing at 802-241-3820 or email to