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

August 09, 2005
City of Burlington

A section of sewer pipe that was responsible for dumping thousands of gallons of sewage into the Winooski River this past April has been ordered replaced under an order issued by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

The Agency is using a two phased approach in responding to a failure of the sewer pipe. Both a "1272 Order" and enforcement actions are being used in response to this serious discharge violation. A 1272 order is an administrative order issued by DEC to ensure further environmental degradation does not occur. These orders direct the permittee to accomplish specific activities by specified dates and are enforceable.

The 1272 Order was issued on August 5 to address the immediate concern of potential future failures of the underwater sewer pipe. It contains an enforceable schedule which requires the City of Burlington to construct a new section of the 24 inch cast iron pipe by December 31, 2005. The Order was developed with the input of the City after the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Wastewater Management Division determined that the repaired section of existing pipe could fail again in the high river flows often seen in the spring.

The impending enforcement actions will address both the April discharge of raw sewage to the Winooski and the discharge of wastewater that had not been disinfected to Lake Champlain that occurred last month. Both cases are being handled by the Agency's Enforcement Division and the outcome is pending.

"Every effort must be made to avoid a repeat of the situation that occurred this past spring. Burlington is therefore being required to start the construction work no later than November 1st and have it completed by the end of the year," Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Tom Torti said.

In addition to requiring the City to replace the pipe, the Order also requires the City to provide monthly reports to the Agency outlining its progress on the work and, if the work is falling behind the schedule, to explain the actions being taken to ensure the job is completed by December 31, 2005.
For Further Information please contact:
Attorney Gary Kessler at 802-241 375