§1. General powers of Agency; Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/06/001/00001
Published: 2015

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Title

06

:
Agriculture






Chapter

001

:
GENERAL POWERS; SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS











 

§

1. General powers of Agency; Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets

(a) The Agency

of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall be administered by a Secretary of

Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Secretary shall supervise and be responsible

for the execution and enforcement of all laws relating to agriculture and

standards of weight and measure. The Secretary may:

(1) delegate any

authority, power, or duty as necessary for the proper execution of the laws;

(2) conduct

examinations and pass upon the qualifications of applicants for licenses;

(3) conduct

routine inspections and investigate suspected violations of any law

administered by the Secretary;

(4) conduct

hearings;

(5) issue

subpoenas and administer oaths in connection with an authorized investigation

or hearing;

(6) enter into

contracts on behalf of the Agency;

(7) seek and

obtain temporary or permanent injunctions to restrain a violation of any law

administered by the Secretary, whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe

that a law has been or will be violated;

(8) institute

appropriate proceedings in the name of the Agency to enforce any law

administered by the Secretary;

(9) apply for

and accept grants of money or other gifts on behalf of the Agency, subject to

32 V.S.A. § 5;

(10) adopt and

enforce rules to implement the laws administered by the Secretary;

(11) accept an

assurance of discontinuance in lieu of instituting an action or proceeding for

violation of a law administered by the Secretary;

(12) exercise

any other power or authority granted by common law or statute;

(13)

notwithstanding any law to the contrary in this title or Title 9 or 20, issue

all licenses, permits, registrations, or certificates under a program

administered by the Secretary for a term of up to three years; renew and issue

such licenses, permits, registrations, and certificates on any calendar cycle;

collect any annual fee set by law for such multiyear licensure, permit,

registration, or certificate on a pro-rated basis which shall not exceed 150

percent of the annual fee for an 18-month cycle, 200 percent of the annual fee

for a two-year cycle, or 300 percent of the annual fee for a three-year cycle;

and conduct inspections at regulated premises at least once every three years

when inspection is required by law. The authority to mandate licenses, permits,

registrations, or certificates for more than one year shall not extend to any

program administered by the Secretary where the annual fee is more than

$125.00. The Secretary shall only provide refunds for overpayments of $25.00 or

more on a license, permit, registration, or certificate issued by the

Secretary;

(14) require any

person or entity regulated by the secretary under this title or Title 9 or 20

to file an affidavit under oath or affirmation that the person or entity or

their regulated premises is in compliance with an assurance of discontinuance

or other order or the terms and conditions of a license, permit, registration,

certificate, or approval issued by or under the statutory authority of the

Secretary or rules adopted under such statutory authority. The Secretary's

request for an affidavit of compliance under this subdivision may be delivered

by hand or by certified mail. Failure to file such affidavit when requested or

the material misrepresentation of a fact in the affidavit shall constitute a

violation of the underlying regulatory program and grounds for revocation or

assessment of administrative penalties or both under section 15 of this title.

(b) The

following entities shall exist and operate within the Agency of Agriculture,

Food and Markets under the general supervision of the secretary:

(1) The Vermont

Milk Commission.

(2) The State

dairy council.

(3) The Vermont

Dairy Industry Council.

(4) Repealed.]

(c) The

Secretary shall provide data and funding recommendations to the Vermont Climate

Change Oversight Committee with regard to:

(1) Funding and

implementing State conservation programs in order to increase carbon

sequestration.

(2) Providing

cost-share assistance for farmers to purchase manure injection equipment to

retrofit existing manure spreaders or purchase new equipment.

(3) Providing

cost-share assistance for farms to develop and implement nutrient management

plans for smaller dairy farms and continuing to provide annual assistance so

that existing plans on medium-sized farms continue to be implemented.

(4) Providing

cost-share assistance under the farm agronomic practices program so that farms

implement cover crops and other soil erosion and land cover practices.

(5) Other ways

to create incentives for carbon sequestration on farm and forest land,

Vermont's "green bank."

(d) The

Secretary shall continue the Agency's methane capture program and shall

collaborate with the Vermont Climate Change Oversight Committee with regard to

the availability of additional funds for these purposes. The goal of the

methane digester portion of the program shall be to digest and use 15 percent

of the State's dairy cattle manure by 2012, and 50 percent by 2028. The goal of

a second aspect of this emissions reduction program shall be to increase the

percentage of poultry and nondairy livestock manure composted to 25 percent by

2012, and 50 percent by 2028. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff.

March 1, 1961; 1967, No. 303 (Adj. Sess.), § 16(b); 1987, No. 277 (Adj. Sess.),

§ 1; 1989, No. 256 (Adj. Sess.), § 10(a), eff. Jan. 1, 1991; 1991, No. 17, §

8(a), eff. April 4, 1991; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2007, No. 209

(Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § F7; 2015, No. 39, § 17.)
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