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Waste Management and Prevention Division

The Waste Management & Prevention Division oversees the use, treatment, and handling of hazardous and solid wastes. The Division performs emergency response for hazardous materials spills, issues permits for federal and state programs regulating hazardous wastes, solid wastes, salvage yards, and underground storage tanks, and manages cleanup at hazardous sites under state and federal authorities, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund).

The Hazardous Waste Program regulates the generation, transportation, storage, treatment, recycling and disposal of hazardous waste, used oil, and universal hazardous waste. The program, which is authorized by the US EPA to be implemented in lieu of the federal hazardous waste program, maintains the Vermont Hazardous Waste Management Regulations. The program conducts inspections to evaluate compliance and responds to citizens' complaints regarding the mishandling of hazardous waste; tracks hazardous waste manifests (shipping records) to ensure all hazardous wastes are delivered to appropriate facilities; issues permits to facilities that engage in long-term or commercial storage and facilities that treat or dispose of hazardous waste; and provides regulatory assistance; and tracks hazardous waste data.

The Salvage Yard Program is responsible for the implementation of Vermont Statues and Rules pertaining to the operation of salvage yards. The program is also charged with annual permitting of salvage yards, development and provision of best management practices and other training materials to ensure salvage yards operate in a manner protective of Vermont citizens and the environment, conducting compliance inspections at salvage yard facilities that are not permitted.

The Storage Tank Program issues permits for commercial and governmental underground storage tanks (USTs). The program conducts inspections of UST facilities to ensure compliance with regulations.  Regulations designed to prevent heating oil spills from aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) are also managed by this Section. Replacement grants for both AST and UST home and farm heating oil tanks are issued by the Tank section.

The Sites Management Section performs activities at petroleum and chemical release locations, Brownfields and Superfund sites that range from evaluation and immediate control, to long-term hydrogeologic and risk assessment studies. Project management includes contract administration and cost control for funds expended from the Petroleum Cleanup Fund, Environmental Contingency Fund and Brownfields Technical Assistance Grants. The Brownfields Reuse Environmental Liability Limitation Act (BRELLA) is also managed under this section.

The Spill Response Program is a 24-hour on call program that manages all reported releases of hazardous materials.  This program receives reports made to the 24-hour Haz Mat Hotline (800-641-5005).  The program ensures spills of hazardous materials are properly investigated, cleaned up and removed for disposal.

The Solid Waste Management Program staff helps solid waste management districts plan and comply with Act 78, Vermont’s solid waste management law. Solid Waste also certifies landfills and all other solid waste facilities, inspects these facilities, enforces permits, and reviews and approves applications for solid waste grant funds.

Staff members in the Recycling Section work with the state agencies, businesses, communities, and others to identify effective and economical ways to reduce, re-use, or recycle waste as a means of conserving natural resources, minimizing waste treatment and disposal costs, and protecting human health.

The Solid Waste Certification and Compliance staff writes certifications for all solid waste management facilities including composting facilities, landfills, recycling centers, transfer stations, and waste haulers.  Oversees bottle bill program. Once certifications are issued, staff inspects facilities and investigates and recommends enforcement for certification violations.

The Solid Waste Technical Assistance staff members review engineering plans for solid waste facilities as part of the permit process. They work with solid waste facility operators, towns, and solid waste districts to provide technical review, and assess the need for and types of hydrological studies required for solid waste facility sites. Implement solid waste planning and data management programs.