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

Press Release

September 30, 2003
Vermont Agency of Transportation

WATERBURY- Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Elizabeth McLain today announced that the Vermont Agency of Transportation has entered into a court-approved settlement concerning environmental violations at the Knapp Airport in Berlin, Vermont. The matter involves violations of the Vermont Wetland Rules, the discharge of sediment to Airport Brook, and violations of (Act 250) Land Use Permit 500023-12.

The matter came to the attention of the Agency of Natural Resources as the result of a citizen complaint on March 15, 2002. During site inspections in March and April of 2002, it was discovered that approximately 15,000 cubic yards of fill was deposited in a Class II wetland, resulting in a sediment discharge to Airport Brook. In June of 2002, Agency of Natural Resources personnel observed additional erosion leading to a sediment discharge to Airport Brook. During the same site visit it was determined that an adjacent section of the Class II wetland at Knapp Airport had been cleared and stumped. These activities violated state wetlands and water quality law, and the Agency of Transportation’s Conditional Use Determination and land use permit.

Upon notification of the violations, the Agency of Transportation promptly began restoration and implemented erosion control mechanisms to stabilize the site. Because of substantial and material changes to the Knapp Airport under several Act 250 criteria, the Agency of Transportation has filed an amended Act 250 permit application. The Agency has also developed a Natural Resource Plan for Knapp Airport, as well as several training, guidance, and contract documents, and performed training to assure that similar violations do not occur.

The settlement was reduced to an assurance of discontinuance and was so ordered by the Environmental Court on September 19, 2003. The settlement includes two supplemental environmental projects which total $80,000.00. The Agency of Transportation has also agreed to complete wetland compensation.

Involved Programs: Water Quality Division of the Department of Environmental Conservation and Act 250.

Environmental Enforcement Officer (EEO) Sean McVeigh.

For Further Information please contact:
Attorney Catherine Gjessing at 802-241-3820


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