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Vermont yard owner pleads guilty to environmental violations

Keywords: Tags  salvage yard, car crusher, Robert Brown, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — The owner of a Moretown, Vt., salvage yard will have to hire a consultant and pay fines after admitting to hazardous waste violations.

Robert E. Brown has pleaded guilty to two counts of releasing hazardous waste and two counts of improperly storing hazardous waste, according to a release from the state attorney general. The charges are misdemeanors.

Brown allegedly directed two workers to crush as many as 30 hazardous waste containers in a car crusher, resulting in the contents spilling to the ground and causing soil contamination, according to a December 2008 investigation by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

An earlier DEC inspection claimed to have found that Brown was storing waste oil, gasoline, antifreeze, and lead-acid car batteries in violation of the state’s Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.

Brown was sentenced to six to 12 months in jail, which was suspended. He is on probation for a two-year period and must pay $11,644 in fines and court costs.

Brown couldn’t be reached for comment.

The plea agreement also calls for Brown to hire a DEC-approved consultant who will be responsible for supervising ongoing operations and determine if any remediation efforts are necessary. If a cleanup is warranted, the supervisor will prepare and implement a plan to restore the soil.

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