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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Court Orders $1.8 Million in Clean-Up Costs for Contaminated Rutland Property

October 13, 2017

The Rutland Superior Court issued a judgment order against John Ruggiero, the owner of property at 84 Woodstock Avenue in Rutland. The order is for $1.8 million in clean-up costs and damages to be paid to the State of Vermont. The judgment resolves the State’s claims against Mr. Ruggiero following his failure to remediate hazardous chemicals found at the Rutland property.

Ruggiero’s property at 84 Woodstock Avenue had contamination from hazardous chemicals during its historic use as a gas station and dry-cleaning business. Mr. Ruggiero failed to clean up the chemicals when directed to do so by the State. As a result, in 2014, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources removed contaminated soil and water, and installed an underground barrier to protect against potential health hazards, at a cost of over $500,000.

The $1.8 million in total costs awarded to the State include: $535,679 in clean-up costs; $75,000 in future monitoring costs; $180,443 in interest; and $1,607,030 as treble damages for Mr. Ruggiero’s willful failure to comply with the State ordered clean-up.

The Agency of Natural Resources will continue to monitor the site to ensure protection of public health, and is entitled to recoup those monitoring costs.

Last modified: March 13, 2018