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Vermont dairy farm fined for dumping manure-laden water into stream

By Mark Payne | Nov 21, 2014

William h sorrell
Attorney General William H. Sorrell | The Office of William H. Sorrell

A Franklin County dairy farm has agreed to pay $40,000 in fines after it allegedly dumped its manure discharge  into a local stream, Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell said on Thursday. 

Leach Farms Inc. admitted violating Vermont's water quality laws.

“Keeping Vermont’s waterways clean is one of our state’s top environmental priorities,”  Sorrell said. “Improving the quality of the water in Lake Champlain is of particular importance. Farms need to understand their role in keeping the lake clean.”

A video shows three manure trucks from Leach Farms pulling water out of Bogue Brook in Enosburg Falls on Nov. 19, 2013. The trucks then drove downstream and dumped the discharge, which contained manure-mixed water, back into the stream. The brook is a branch of the Missisquoi River, which flows into Lake Champlain.

“The spraying of manure laden rinsate directly into state waters was an egregious and unacceptable violation of state law,” Department of Environmental Commissioner David Mears said. “This type of conduct degrades the water quality in Vermont’s streams, rivers, ponds and lakes, hurting all Vermonters. If we are to improve our water quality, these types of violations must be stopped. We want the message to be crystal clear that the state will pursue significant penalties against those who continue to violate the law in this manner.”

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Vermont Office of the Attorney General