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

May 27, 2010
City of Montpelier

WATERBURY - The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division (CED) today announced that it has formally settled environmental violations involving the City of Montpelier. The City discharged undisinfected wastewater into the Winooski River in May and September 2008 and did not comply with the reporting requirements of its discharge permit. The settlement includes a $17,625 Supplemental Environmental Project.

Through CED investigation, it was discovered that from May 14, 2008 through May 27, 2008, the facility’s Ultraviolet (UV) light system shut down multiple times for limited durations during nighttime and early morning hours, when the facility typically experienced low flows. As a result, the facility discharged wastewater to the Winooski River that had not been disinfected for E-coli bacteria in violation of the City’s discharge permit. The City became aware of the violations on or about May 21, 2008 but did not notify the Agency until May 28, 2008, in violation of a permit condition requiring Agency notification within 24 hours of becoming aware of a violation. The UV system shut down for a total of approximately fourteen hours over this two week period. Similar discharges occurred during the overnight hours of September 29, 2008. The UV system shut down for a total of approximately five hours over this time period. The City did not report this violation in accordance with its permit. Following these incidents the City made adjustments to the UV system to address the problem associated with low flows.

The matter came to light as a result of a complaint which was investigated by Environmental Enforcement Officer Sean McVeigh. After completion of the investigation, the City of Montpelier was notified of the violations and agreed to settle the matter. The settlement was reduced to an Assurance of Discontinuance and was so ordered by the Environmental Court. In it, the City of Montpelier agreed to comply with its discharge permit and any other applicable permit and environmental law in the operation, maintenance, and testing of its wastewater treatment facility and collection system. It was also agreed that the City will fund a $17,625 Supplemental Environmental Project.

Involved Program: Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Wastewater Management Division
Environmental Enforcement Officer:Sean McVeigh

For Further Information please contact:
Attorney John Zaikowski at 802-241-3820 or email to