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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Hermitage Ski Club Settles Environmental Permitting Violations For $205,000

May 4, 2015

CONTACT: Justin E. Kolber, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3186

The Hermitage Ski Club at Haystack Mountain, a private ski resort in Wilmington and Dover, Vermont, has admitted to violating land use and environmental permitting laws and has agreed to pay $205,000 in civil penalties for violations that occurred during construction and development of the ski resort. “Developers cannot ignore our permitting and environmental statutes,” said Attorney General Bill Sorrell. “Ski resorts are critical to Vermont’s tourism economy, but all development projects must meet our environmental standards,” he added.

The Attorney General worked closely with the Natural Resources Board and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources on all aspects of the enforcement action. The settlement resolves violations of Vermont’s Act 250 land use statutes and permits, Water Pollution Control statute, Dams and Wetlands Protection statutes, Public Water Supply and Potable Water statutes, and storm water construction permits.

Many of the violations relate to repeated and continuing failures to obtain necessary Act 250 land use permits and for filing permit applications only after Hermitage completed large amounts of the construction work that required a permit. “Act 250 is vital to ensuring that development does not have adverse effects on natural resources, and is consistent with Vermont’s historic development patterns of compact villages and city centers surrounded by healthy working forests and farm land,” said Jon Groveman, Chair of the Natural Resources Board. “Strong enforcement of significant violations like this is crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of Act 250,” he added.

The violations also include unauthorized work on dams and in wetlands, repeated failures to comply with storm water management requirements, and unpermitted discharges to state waters. “The violations in this matter are troubling, not just because of the environmental damage caused by Hermitage, but also because of the systematic failure of the Hermitage Club to obtain required permits prior to starting work,” said David Mears, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. “The magnitude of the penalty in this matter reflects the seriousness of these violations and is intended to ensure future compliance,” he added.

Once the enforcement action was filed, Hermitage promptly resolved the matter with the State, resulting in a court approved settlement. In addition to ordering the civil penalties, the court found the Hermitage Club liable for fourteen violations.

Related documents in State of Vermont v. Hermitage Inn Real Estate Holding Co., LLC, Docket No. 70-2-15 (Windham Superior Court):

Last modified: March 13, 2018