Brown pleads guilty in salvage-yard pollution case

— Salvage yard owner Robert E. Brown of Pittsford pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts of releasing hazardous waste into the environment. He also pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts of improperly storing hazardous waste at the Moretown salvage yard.

The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation. In December 2008, while operating a salvage yard, Brown kicked over several containers of hazardous materials and directed employees to crush between 10 and 30 containers of the material in a mobile car crusher. Both actions allowed hazardous material to be released into the ground. Also, two site inspections at Brown’s salvage yard in November 2008 revealed that waste oil, gasoline, antifreeze and lead acid batteries were being improperly stored and in violation of Vermont’s Hazardous Waste Management Law.

Brown was sentenced to 6-12 months but the term was suspended for two years probation.

Brown must pay $11,644 in fines and court surcharges. He is required to hire an independent consultant to supervise the ongoing operations of the salvage yard, conduct a site investigation to see if his conduct resulted in contamination, and to prepare a cleanup plan.

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