Thursday, July 12, 2018

VT: Stannard residents fined for unlawful open burning

Montpelier – The Agency of Natural Resources’ Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced Wednesday that Stephen McGranaghan, a former Vermont State Police Trooper, and Christina McGranaghan were fined $10,760 for burning a derelict structure and other junk materials on their property in Stannard. 

On or about December 4, 2017, Stephen McGranaghan set fire to a derelict A-frame structure located on the property.  On December 5, 2017, personnel with Vermont State Police Fire Investigation Unit and DEC’s Environmental Compliance Division conducted a joint site investigation and observed burnt vinyl siding, asphalt roofing, plywood, painted and treated wood, and several automobile tires in the remnants of the structure.  Following the investigation, the McGranaghans were notified of the violations, and agreed to a full clean-up of the burned materials and a $10,760 fine for violations of the Vermont Air Pollution Control Regulations and Solid Waste Management Rules. The Vermont Superior Court Environmental Division adopted this agreement as a Final Judicial Order on May 22, 2018.

While open burning of natural wood, leaves, and brush is permitted in much of Vermont, the open burning of trash, treated wood, and other non-natural materials is always unlawful under the Vermont Air Pollution Control Regulations and Solid Waste Management Rules. Burning trash creates a nuisance at best, and at worst creates potential environmental hazards and significant public health risks. As non-natural materials like plastics, rubber, and chemicals burn, particulates and toxic compounds released by the burning travel into the air.  These pollutants can degrade air quality, can be inhaled, or can settle in water or soils and enter the food chain and are difficult to remove from the environment. Many of the toxic compounds have been linked to several types of significant health issues in humans. 

“We all create waste and, sooner or later, we’re all bound to ask, ‘What do I do with this?’” says Emily Boedecker, Commissioner of DEC. “We’re here to help Vermonters answer that question in a way that keeps our land and waters clean, and to encourage recycling of salvageable materials whenever possible.”

The Solid Waste and Recycling Program in DEC provides Vermonters with guidance about how to manage common and uncommon waste materials, from pharmaceuticals to construction and demolition debris. The Department also provides targeted guidance for businesses managing specific wastes like excess food or hazardous materials.

For more information about how to manage common and uncommon waste, including recycling and composting guidelines, visit DEC’s Solid Waste and Recycling Program at http://dec.vermont.gov/waste-management/solid. For more information regarding permissible and prohibited open burning in Vermont, visit DEC’s Open Burning Permit Program at http://dec.vermont.gov/air-quality/compliance/open-burning.

Contact:

Randy Miller, Agency of Natural Resources

802-272-1744 | randy.miller@vermont.gov