MONTPELIER — The Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that Fairmont Farms, Inc, and Fairmont Dairy, LLC, were fined $8,400 for burning construction material and demolition waste at the Fairmont Farm in East Montpelier, in violation of Vermont’s air pollution and solid waste management regulations.
Construction and demolition waste materials are a common form of solid waste in Vermont, generated by homeowners renovating a room or demolishing a barn, or by contractors building commercial developments.
The waste often includes materials such as painted or treated wood, plastic and vinyl, asphalt roofing, and piping and wiring.
When burned, many treated or synthetic materials release toxic pollutants into the air that can cause public health problems, and residual ash that may contain toxic substances that can leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater.
Proper disposal of these wastes at a certified facility is essential to avoid environmental damage and potential health hazards.
On April 26, 2019, Fairmont Farm burned a pile of construction and demolition waste generated while renovating and remodeling a residential structure on the East Montpelier farm.
After the East Montpelier Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire, the site was cleaned, and the waste was properly disposed of at a certified solid waste facility.
By May 2, 2019, Fairmont Farm completed the proper disposal of over 10 tons of waste resulting from the fire.
“Disposal of construction and demolition waste should follow the principles for all solid waste, reuse, recycle and only when necessary, disposal at certified landfills, permitted incinerators, or other state-approved facilities,” said DEC Commissioner Emily Boedecker.
The Agency initiated an enforcement action as a result of the violations, and Fairmont Farm agreed to resolve the matter and pay a penalty of $8,400 for the violations.
“Experts at DEC stand ready to provide advice on how to cut down on waste, and appropriately and cost effectively dispose of materials. Unpermitted burning is never the right choice,” Boedecker added.