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Pittsford Man Pleads Guilty To Releasing And Improperly Storing Hazardous Waste

CONTACT: Evan Meenan, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5512

November 8, 2012

Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that Robert E. Brown of Pittsford, Vermont pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts of releasing hazardous waste and two misdemeanor counts of improperly storing hazardous waste.

The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation. This investigation revealed that in December of 2008 and while operating a salvage yard located in Moretown, VT, Mr. Brown kicked over containers of hazardous material and directed two of his employees to crush between 10 and 30 containers of hazardous material in a mobile car crusher. Both actions allowed hazardous material to be released onto the ground. In addition, during two site inspections of this salvage yard, conducted in November of 2008, the Department of Environmental Conservation discovered that Mr. Brown was storing waste oil, gasoline, antifreeze, and lead-acid car batteries in violation of Vermont’s Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Mr. Brown was sentenced to 6 to 12 months all suspended with 2 years probation. Mr. Brown is also required to pay $11,644 in fines and court surcharges. In addition, as special conditions of probation, Mr. Brown is required to hire an independent consultant, approved by Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources, to supervise the ongoing operations of the salvage yard, conduct a site investigation to determine whether Mr. Brown’s conduct resulted in any environmental contamination, and to prepare and implement an action plan to correct any such contamination.

Attorney General Sorrell said, “Serious violations of our environment laws can lead to criminal charges. Our Office will work closely with the Agency of Natural Resources in these kinds of cases.”

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