For Immediate Release – May 25, 2023
Kane Smart, Enforcement and Litigation Attorney, Agency of Natural Resources
802-272-7245 | Kane.Smart@vermont.gov
Brewery Fined for Wastewater Permit Violations
Montpelier, VT – The Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that Four Quarters Brewing, LLC (Four Quarters), a brewery in Winooski, was fined $5,035 for violating its Pretreatment Discharge Permit to discharge process wastewater to the City of Winooski Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Vermont’s 92 municipal wastewater treatment facilities process more than 15 billion gallons of wastewater per year, treating wastewater to established standards before releasing it into the environment. Certain industrial and commercial activities require a pretreatment discharge permit to discharge wastewater to those municipal treatment facilities. The conditions of a pretreatment permit help minimize the potential that the industrial or commercial discharges will interfere with the operation of the treatment facility, resulting in the release of untreated wastewater to the environment. The discharge of untreated wastewater can pose a significant risk to the state’s natural resources and to public health.
The conditions of Four Quarters’ Pretreatment Discharge Permit require it to develop and implement a Slug Discharge Control and Waste Management Plan, to monitor wastewater discharges to the Wastewater Treatment Facility, and to submit monthly monitoring reports to the Agency. Despite repeated reminders from the Agency, Four Quarters did not timely submit the required Management Plan and monitoring reports. Four Quarters also failed to monitor discharges to the Wastewater Treatment Facility between September 2021 and June 2022, during which 33,000 gallons of unsampled wastewater was discharged.
“Compliance with pretreatment discharge permits is crucial for ensuring safe discharges from municipal wastewater treatment facilities to Vermont’s surface waters,” says John Beling, DEC Commissioner. “Without proper pretreatment, the discharges pose an unnecessary risk of contaminating our lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and wetlands.”
Four Quarters has since brought operations into compliance with its Pretreatment Discharge Permit and is in good standing with the DEC. It also agreed to pay a fine of $5,035 for the violations. This agreement was incorporated into a Final Judicial Order of the Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division on May 22, 2023.
For more information about DEC’s Watershed Management Division, including the Wastewater Management Program and Discharge Permits, visit https://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/wastewater.