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The Environmental Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office litigates environmental cases of statewide importance. The Office files civil and criminal actions to enforce Vermont’s environmental laws, defends the State of Vermont and its agencies when they are sued over environmental matters and handles appeals of decisions from the Environmental Court and the Superior Courts involving environmental issues. The Attorney General’s Office also provides legal advice and counsel to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Vermont Natural Resources Board and other State agencies on environmental matters. Examples of past and current litigation handled by the Environmental Protection Division include:
The Environmental Protection Division is currently staffed by seven attorneys, who appear in state and federal courts. The Division also has a part-time investigator and a Paralegal who is responsible for providing administrative support to attorneys, and maintaining written and electronic records. In cooperation with the Vermont Law School and other law schools, the Division hosts legal interns who have an interest in environmental law.
Proposed Settlements of Civil Environmental Enforcement Cases
To facilitate possible public participation in proposed settlements of civil environmental enforcement cases filed by the Attorney General's Office, the Division posts notice of such proposed settlement agreements at the time of filing the proposed settlements with the Court. The postings are on the Division website (below) and include a link to the proposed settlement pleadings. To further facilitate possible public participation, the Division also requests in its filings that the Court hold the proposed settlement for 21 days before considering and acting on the submitted settlement. Potential public participation is pursuant to Vermont Rule of Civil Procedure 24 regarding intervention.
Pending proposed civil enforcement settlements:
Vermont Superior Court, Washington Civil Division, January 21, 2014, State of Vermont v. Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conversation.
Environmental Protection Links
The Office of the Vermont Attorney General enforces environmental laws along with other state and federal agencies, including:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region One
Dial 911 in a life-threatening emergency
802-241-3888 7:45 am-4:30 pm weekdays, ANR Waste Management Division
1-800-823-6500 or 802-241-3400 7:45 am-4:30 pm weekdays, ANR Water Supply Division Dial 741-5311 then enter your number for 24-hour pager for ANR Water Supply Division
Reporting Suspected Violations of Environmental Laws
The Attorney General’s Office does not take referrals from individual citizens regarding suspected violations of environmental laws. If you would like to report a possible violation of Vermont’s environmental laws, please contact one or more of the following divisions:
Operation Game Thief to report possible fish and wildlife violations 1-800-75ALERT
ANR’s Enforcement Division handles a wide variety of complaints including but not limited to: illegal transportation of hazardous waste, storage and disposal of solid and hazardous waste, illegal open burning of prohibited materials, wetlands violations, and various water quality complaints relating to permitted and non permitted discharges to State waters.
The Environmental Assistance Division of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources provides permit assistance through five regional and five satellite offices, and will assist applicants in identifying all necessary state permits or approvals for any given project.
Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.