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

April 01, 2004
David Chaves Excavation, Inc.

Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Elizabeth McLain today announced that the Enforcement Division has formally settled an environmental violation involving David Chaves Excavation, Inc. This excavation contractor was involved in a wetland destruction case on the property of Thomas and Nancy O'Brien in the town of Jamaica. This settlement includes a $25,000 penalty and $15,000 supplemental environmental project.

Through the Agency's investigation, it was discovered that the O'Briens hired David Chaves Excavating, Inc. to construct a pond and included draining, dredging, and filling a wetland without a conditional use determination. This was a violation of Vermont wetland rules and resulted in a significant amount of material discharging into nearby streams. The pond was approximately 4.5 acres in size and was constructed without the necessary permits.

The matter came to light as a result of a complaint that was investigated by Environmental Enforcement Officer Tim McNamara. After the investigation was completed, the O'Briens were prosecuted and found to be responsible for the violations. David Chaves Excavating, Inc. was a cooperating witness at that trial. The Court ordered the O'Briens to restore the wetlands and to pay an $80,000 fine. David Chaves Excavating, Inc., admitted to the same violations and agreed to settle the matter.

The settlement was reduced to an assurance of discontinuance and was so ordered by the Environmental Court on March 26, 2004. In it, David Chaves Excavating, Inc. agreed to a $40,000 settlement that includes payment of a $25,000 civil penalty to the State of Vermont and payment of $15,000 to fund a supplemental environmental project.

Involved Program: Water Quality Division of the Department of Environmental Conservation

Environmental Enforcement Officer: Tim McNamara
For Further Information please contact:
Attorney Gary Kessler at 802-241-3820 or email to