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

May 04, 2004
Town of Hardwick Electric Company

Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Elizabeth McLain announced today that the Enforcement Division has formally settled an environmental violation involving the Hardwick Electric Department, a municipal electric company in the Town of Hardwick. The settlement includes a $15,000 supplemental environmental project.

Through the Agency's investigation, it was discovered that the Hardwick Electric Company, in the course of doing business, improperly drew down Hardwick Lake last fall. Instead of doing so by means of a normal, controlled release, it opened the gates and released all the water at once. This caused extremely turbid waters to discharge and resulted in siltation that settled downstream.

The matter came to light as a result of a citizen complaint that was investigated by Environmental Enforcement Officer Sean McVeigh. After the investigation was completed, the Town of Hardwick Electric Department 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 on April 22, 2004. In it, the Town of Hardwick Electric Company agreed to make only seasonal drawdowns in conformance with a plan submitted to the Agency. It was also agreed that a $15,000 supplemental environmental project will be funded.

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

Environmental Enforcement Officer: Sean McVeigh

For Further Information please contact:
Attorney Gary Kessler at 802-241-3820 or email to