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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Court Orders Reclamation of Excavation Site and Civil Penalties Against Stamford Landowners

August 10, 2012

CONTACT: Nicholas Persampieri, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3186

The Vermont Superior Court, Bennington Unit, ordered Stamford, Vermont landowners Nelson and Joni Dunn to reclaim an unpermitted excavation site on their 157 acre Stamford property, based on findings of Act 250 and stormwater violations. The Court ordered Nelson Dunn to pay civil penalties and State investigative costs totaling $ 40,049.94, and also found Dunn’s wife Joni jointly liable for $12,786.57 of the penalties and costs. Their son, John Dunn, was found liable for $2,263.37 in costs and must cooperate with the reclamation. “This ruling sends a strong message that violators of Vermont’s environmental and land use laws will be held accountable,” said Attorney General William H. Sorrell.

The Court’s ruling follows a May 22 hearing in an environmental enforcement action brought by the Attorney General’s Office based on an investigation conducted by the Vermont Natural Resources Board and Agency of Natural Resources.

Nelson Dunn directed the excavation and sale of more than $500,000 worth of topsoil and fill from the property without obtaining required Act 250 and stormwater permits, which would have imposed requirements designed to protect the land and nearby streams. The activity destabilized a hillside area, causing discharges of silt-laden stormwater into a stream that flows directly into the North Branch of the Hoosic River. The Court’s Order requires Nelson and Joni Dunn to apply for Act 250 and stormwater permits and to stabilize and reclaim the affected land in accordance with the permits’ requirements.

Last modified: March 13, 2018