§4995. Civil enforcement

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/06/215/04995
Published: 2015

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Title

06

:
Agriculture






Chapter

215

:
AGRICULTURAL WATER QUALITY






Subchapter

010
:
ENFORCEMENT










 

§

4995. Civil enforcement

(a) The

Secretary may bring an action in the Civil Division of the Superior Court to

enforce the requirements of this chapter, or rules adopted under this chapter,

or any permit or certification issued under this chapter, to assure compliance,

and to obtain penalties in the amounts described in subsection (b) of this

section. The action shall be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the

State.

(b) The Court

may grant temporary and permanent injunctive relief, and may:

(1) Enjoin

future activities.

(2) Order

corrective actions to be taken to mitigate or curtail any violation and to

protect human health or the environment, including a requirement that the owner

or operator of a farm sell or otherwise remove livestock from the farm or

production area when the volume of wastes produced by livestock exceeds the

infrastructure capacity of the farm or its production area to manage the waste

or waste leachate to prevent runoff or leaching of wastes to waters of the

State or groundwater as required by the standards in this chapter.

(3) Order the

design, construction, installation, operation, or maintenance of facilities

designed to mitigate or prevent a violation of this chapter or to protect human

health or the environment or designed to assure compliance.

(4) Fix and

order compensation for any public or private property destroyed or damaged.

(5) Revoke

coverage under any permit or certification issued under this chapter.

(6) Order

reimbursement from any person who caused governmental expenditures for the

investigation, abatement, mitigation, or removal of a hazard to human health or

the environment.

(7) Levy a civil

penalty as provided in this subdivision. A civil penalty of not more than

$85,000.00 may be imposed for each violation. In addition, in the case of a

continuing violation, a penalty of not more than $42,500.00 may be imposed for

each day the violation continues. In fixing the amount of the penalty, the

Court shall apply the criteria set forth in subsections (e) and (f) of this

section. The cost of collection of penalties or other monetary awards shall be

assessed against and added to a penalty assessed against a respondent.

(c)(1) In any

civil action brought under this section in which a temporary restraining order

or preliminary injunction is sought, relief shall be obtained upon a showing

that there is the probability of success on the merits and that:

(A) a violation

exists; or

(B) a violation

is imminent and substantial harm is likely to result.

(2) In a civil

action brought under this section in which a temporary restraining order or

preliminary injunction is sought, the Secretary need not demonstrate immediate

and irreparable injury, loss, or damage.

(d) Any

balancing of the equities in actions under this section may affect the time by

which compliance shall be attained, but not the necessity of compliance within

a reasonable period of time.

(e)(1) In

determining the amount of the penalty provided in subsection (b) of this

section, the Court shall consider the following:

(A) the degree

of actual or potential impact on public health, safety, welfare, and the

environment resulting from the violation;

(B) the presence

of mitigating circumstances, including unreasonable delay by the Secretary in

seeking enforcement;

(C) whether the

respondent knew or had reason to know the violation existed;

(D) the

respondent's record of compliance;

(E) the

deterrent effect of the penalty;

(F) the State's

actual costs of enforcement; and

(G) the length

of time the violation has existed.

(2) In

determining the amount of the penalty provided in subsection (b) of this

section, the Court may consider additional relevant factors.

(f) In addition

to any penalty assessed under subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary may

also recapture economic benefit resulting from a violation. (Added 2015, No.

64, § 17.)
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