Barton man fined nearly $25,000 for operating unpermitted salvage yard

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BARTON — The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that Brent Bapp of Barton has been fined $24,859 for operating a salvage yard without a permit on his property.

In 2018, Agency staff conducted a site inspection of Bapp’s property and observed approximately 28 junk motor vehicles stored outdoors, constituting a salvage yard and requiring a permit.

Despite being notified of the violation and receiving directives to bring the property into compliance, subsequent site visits between December 2020 and August 2023 revealed that the property remained in violation, with as many as 65 junk motor vehicles observed on the unpermitted site.

After failed attempts to resolve the matter, the Agency filed an Administrative Order with the Superior Court, Environmental Division.

The parties ultimately agreed to resolve the issue with an Assurance of Discontinuance, and Bapp agreed to pay the fine and cease accepting junk or junk motor vehicles at the site, bringing the property into compliance by July 31, 2024.

The Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division, incorporated this agreement into a Final Judicial Order.

Salvage yards, while providing important waste management services by reusing and recycling materials from automobiles, scrap metal, and hazardous waste, can pose severe environmental and public health risks if not properly managed.

To mitigate these risks, salvage yard operators must obtain a Salvage Yard Permit from the Agency of Natural Resources and a Certificate of Approved Location from the local municipality.

DEC Commissioner Jason Batchelder emphasized the importance of proper permitting.

“Due to the risk that salvage yards could pose to human health and the environment if they are not properly sited or operated, it is essential that they obtain all necessary permits prior to operating,” Batchelder said.

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