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

Press Release

June 15, 2012
Vermont Egg Farms Receives Penalty for Discharge of Wastewater

Waitsfield, VT - The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division today announced that it has formally settled environmental violations involving Dorchester Farm Properties, Inc. d/b/a Vermont Egg Farms. Vermont Egg Farms owns property in Highgate where it operates an egg production facility. The settlement includes a $7,000.00 penalty.

From August 2010 through March 2011, the company discharged process wastewater from its egg washing operation to an unpermitted underground injection well system on the property. The company self-reported the violation in April 2011 after it discovered its on-site personnel were using the unpermitted disposal system. The company had been transferring the wastewater to a neighboring farm for use, but began utilizing the system after the pump that transferred the wastewater from a holding tank failed. No discharge to surface waters occurred during use of the system.

The company replaced the pump in March 2011, ceased use of the disposal system, and subsequently discontinued egg washing at the facility. It is investigating the use of the existing disposal system for a small amount of wastewater generated from washing processing floors, with use of the neighboring farm as an alternate disposal method.

The matter came to light as a result of the company self-reporting the violation. After the Agency completed its investigation, Vermont Egg Farms was notified of the violations and agreed to settle the matter. The settlement was reduced to an Assurance of Discontinuance, and adopted as an order by the Environmental Court. In it, Vermont Egg Farms has agreed to pay a $7,000.00 penalty and either apply for a new permit to use the existing system, abandon it and utilize an alternative disposal method, or apply for and construct a new disposal system.

Involved Program: Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division
Environmental Enforcement Officer: Ted Cantwell
For Further Information please contact:
John Zaikowski at 802-654-8980 or email to John.Zaikowski@state.vt.us

 

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