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Rutland County Man Pleads Guilty to Three Felony Environmental Crimes

CONTACT: Annika Frostick, Robert F. McDougall, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3186, (802) 828-5512

January 21, 2010

David B. McLellan of Mt. Tabor, Vermont pled guilty to three felony environmental crimes in Vermont District Court in Rutland. Pursuant to a plea agreement with the Vermont Attorney General's Office, McLellan pled guilty to one count of illegal storage or disposal of hazardous waste, one count of illegal storage or disposal of solid waste, and one count of illegal release of hazardous materials. The agreement calls for imposition of a suspended sentence with probation and for McLellan to pay a fine and restitution of excavation and clean-up costs. The State may argue for a fine of up to $65,000 at sentencing, which will be held at a later date.

"This case should send a wake-up call so that businesses and individuals know to properly store and dispose of hazardous waste and materials" said Attorney General William H. Sorrell. "Ignoring the rules is not an option" he added.

The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources in 2008. The investigation related to the burial by McLellan of 55-gallon steel drums containing hazardous materials, including waste oil, on his property in Mt. Tabor, Vermont. Excavation of the site during the investigation revealed that some of the drums had leaked hazardous materials into the environment. The investigation also found that McLellan improperly buried more than one cubic yard of solid waste.

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