Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Environmental Criminal Cases

The Environmental Protection Division, in conjunction with the Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Office, prosecutes criminal violations of state environmental laws.

Under Vermont law, certain environmental violations are subject to criminal liability. For example, in the hazardous waste area, the knowing or reckless transport, treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous waste without a permit, or knowing or reckless release of hazardous material constitutes a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 5 years or a criminal penalty not to exceed $250,000, or both.

In the area of water pollution, violations may be punishable as misdemeanors with a fine of not more than $25,000 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both. With public water supplies (e.g., schools, places of public accommodation), false statements about water testing or certifications constitute misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment of not more than 6 months or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

Past recent criminal environmental prosecutions:

  • State v. Expert Drain Care [link to 5/18/15 press release]
  • State v. Robert Brown [link to 11/8/12 press release]
  • State v. Michael Bernardine [link to 9/12/11 press release]
  • State v. David McLellan [link to 2/4/10 press release]