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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General Obtains $100,000 Settlement And Court Ruling That Owner Of Contaminated Hartford Site Is Responsible For Hazardous Waste Cleanup

August 18, 2014

CONTACT: Kyle H. Landis-Marinello, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3186

Attorney General William H. Sorrell has obtained two Washington County Superior Court rulings that will facilitate cleanup of a contaminated former dry cleaning site in Hartford, Vermont. Earlier this year, the Court approved a settlement requiring a former operator of the dry cleaner to pay $100,000 toward the investigation and cleanup of the site. And last week the Court issued a decision that under Vermont law, the owner of a contaminated site cannot avoid his responsibilities by transferring the property to a real estate holding company that has no assets. “Rather than cleaning up the site, this property owner set up a shell corporation to try to avoid his legal duties, and the court appropriately stepped in and said that’s not allowed,” said Attorney General Sorrell. “Instead of trying to avoid paying for cleanup, the owners of contaminated sites should work with State authorities to protect human health and the environment,” he added.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has been investigating and cleaning up this site for many years. The Court’s recent decision helps ensure that the contamination will be cleaned up. The ruling noted that additional court proceedings will be needed to determine the specific cleanup actions that will be required of the property owner and the amount of the reimbursement.

Last modified: March 13, 2018