Court orders clean-up and $20,000 in penalties against former Milton junkyard owner for environmental violations

For Immediate Release
October 14, 2011

Contact
Robert F. McDougall
Assistant Attorney General
(802) 828-5506

The Vermont Superior Court, Chittenden Unit, ordered former junkyard owner Gilbert Rhoades to clean-up the Milton site following its finding of environmental violations earlier this year, including removal of all tires at the site within 90 days. The Court ordered Rhoades to pay$20,000 in civil penalties and Rhoades and his wife, Blanche Rhoades, to reimburse the State $24,857.58 for past investigative costs.

The Court’s ruling follows a May 11th hearing in an environmental enforcement action brought by the Attorney General’s Office based on inspections by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

“This ruling sends a strong message that, although salvage yards can provide valuableservices to the community, owners of such operations must follow Vermont’s environmental laws and operate in a safe manner,” said Attorney General William H. Sorrell. In addition to ordering the removal of all tires at the site within 90 days, the Court ordered: permanently enjoined Rhoades from operating a junkyard or salvage yard at the site without first obtaining all necessary permits and licenses; ordered Rhoades to comply with all statutes and regulations governing the handling of hazardous waste;ordered additional soil sampling and removal of lead contaminated soil; ordered Rhoades and his wife Blanche to reimburse the State for $24,857 in past investigative costs; and ordered Rhoades to pay the State $20,000 in civil penalties.Since November 2009, the Rhoades have been subject to a preliminary injunction prohibiting them from taking in any new junk, including scrap metal, at the site.Related documents: Ruling on DamagesRuling on the Merits (February 9, 2011)Ruling on Cross Motions for Summary Judgment (November 20, 2009)Ruling on Motion for Preliminary Injunction (November 20, 2009)

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