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We envision a Vermont where people live in harmony with diverse and healthy natural systems; appreciate and enjoy our natural resources; work together responsibly to reduce waste and risks to human health and the environment; and prosper without significant degradation of natural systems.  We envision a Vermont where people breathe clean air; drink clean water; eat safe food; and live in a sustained and healthy environment.


To preserve, enhance, restore, and conserve Vermont's natural resources, and protect human health for the benefit of this and future generations.

Guiding Principles

  • Adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct.
  • Act and speak in a manner that inspires public confidence and promotes the Department's credibility.
  • Respect individual rights and minimize intrusions into people's lives.
  • Be accountable, accessible, and helpful to the public.
  • Provide clear, prompt, fair, and well-documented decisions and guidance.
  • Improve Vermonters' understanding of the environment and related issues through effective communications and education.
  • Continue to learn about our environment, technology, and management techniques.
  • Involve the people of Vermont in making decisions that affect the state's natural resources.
  • Wisely pursue innovative approaches to environmental problems to determine their effectiveness.
  • Promptly adopt proven new solutions to environmental problems.
  • Coordinate programs across all environmental media.
  • Promote pollution prevention, recycling, and consideration of the cumulative impacts of activities.
  • Consistently and fairly apply and enforce environmental laws and standards.
  • Develop standards and requirements that consider both economic and environmental sustainability.
  • Always consider the consequences of today's decisions for future generations.
  • Recognize that all powers and authority to carry out the Department's Mission are derived from the people, and that Government works to the benefit of the public, not to our convenience as State employees. 

Philosophy of Management and Supervision

It is the policy of this Department that its managers and supervisors be guided by the following concepts.

  • The DEC management philosophy is rooted in the belief that an ethic of teamwork and an open atmosphere of mutual trust and support among all Department employees are essential to the effective management of the Department and of the state's natural resources.
  • The DEC decision making process will maximize input from involved staff at all levels in the organization. Decision making should be delegated to the appropriate level and management will assure that Department staff have authority consistent with their responsibilities.
  • Supervision is essential to the performance, development and growth of all Department employees. Prompt recognition of achievement and counseling to correct problems are equally important. Annual performance evaluations are required and performance expectations must be developed with an opportunity for input from employees. As a guideline, supervisors should meet at least monthly in a designated supervisory session with each person supervised.
  • Managers and supervisors will be accessible and will encourage input from staff.
  • There is a shared responsibility for managers and supervisors to support staff and for staff to support managers and supervisors. This support is expected both within and among the various units in the Department.
  • The Department will assure that complaints about actions by Department employees will be fairly and thoroughly investigated and resolved.
  • Decisions will be clear and consistent with law, rule, policy and the mission of the Department. Whenever a decision would be inconsistent with past policy, the deviation should be justified or the policy will be changed to assure consistent future action.
  • Management will promote a safe, secure, and enjoyable working environment and encourage a positive attitude in all staff.
  • Managers and supervisors shall not discriminate against, or harass any other employee or allow such behavior because of race, color, religion, ancestry, place of birth, gender, age, national origin, disability status, sexual orientation, or any other factor for which discrimination is prohibited by law.