VT Environmental Compliance News
Newsletter from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation's
Environmental Assistance Office
November 2013 
Do You Have Environmental Compliance Questions?
Pollution Prevention Case Study: Ben & Jerry's
Governor's Award - Applications due January 27, 2014
Making a Hazardous Waste Determination
Hazardous Waste Storage in the Winter
A Refresher on the Ubiquitous Oily Waste
Groundwater Resource and Rescharge Area Mapping
Act 148: New Recycling Law to Take Effect in July 2014
On the Horizon: Paintcare Program to be Implemented in a Year
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In this issue... 

This issue features Ben & Jerry's pollution prevention project that earned them a 2013 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.  This pollution prevention project enabled B & J's to reuse wastewater in the plant and also save on water purchases from the town.  Applications are now being received for the 2014 Governor's Awards until January 27, 2014.  If you have questions about the new recycling laws, read on . . . As always, if you have an environmental regulatory question or need assistance in any way, please give a call.

Do You Have Environmental Compliance Questions? 
The Vermont Environmental Assistance Office (EAO) has the answers! The EAO provides no-cost, confidential compliance assistance to Vermont businesses and municipalities as well as guidance to permit applicants, recognition programs for green businesses in Vermont, and assistance to businesses, communities, state agencies, and others to identify effective and economical ways to reduce waste at the source. Contact us to ask a question or to arrange an on-site compliance review. You can check us out at:
Pollution Prevention Case Study: Ben & Jerry's
As the number one tourist attraction in Vermont with over 300,000 visitors, Ben & Jerry's in Waterbury has made sustainability a priority by annually setting targets for reducing  environmental impact.  In general, dairy product manufacturing uses a significant amount of water for cleaning equipment and sanitizing.  Ben & Jerry's has an on-site wastewater treatment plant that, over the years, has reduced its organic loading (or BOD content) to the point where they can now reuse wastewater for non-potable purposes. Their grey water system reuses some of the wastewater for flushing toilets.  A second system reuses effluent in cooling towers to replace fresh water.  In the first two years of operation, Ben & Jerry's has conserved an average of 850,000 gallons of water per year, also saving over $3000 in water purchases. In addition to reusing wastewater, Ben & Jerry's has significantly reduced the amount of water used per gallon of ice cream manufactured, for additional savings, and showing that pollution prevention pays.
Governor's Award - Applications due January 27, 2014

Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence. The annual awards honor the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution and promote sustainability.


Applications are encouraged from:

  •  Business, Industry, and Trade or Professional Organizations;
  • Environmental, Community, and Non-Profit Organizations;
  • Individual Citizens;
  • Institutions (such as schools, hospitals, and municipalities);
  • Teachers and Students;
  • Public Agencies; and
  • ENERGY STAR certified institutional or commercial facilities.
Applications must be received electronically, no later than Monday, January 27, 2014.  
To obtain the application materials online click here.
For questions or to obtain email copies of the application, contact Gary Gulka at gary.gulka@state.vt.us, 802-
Making a Hazardous Waste Determination

During the course of conducting routine compliance inspections, Vermont Hazardous Waste Program inspectors frequently find that businesses don't make proper "hazardous waste determinations." In other words, inspectors routinely find that business owner/operators fail to properly identify (and, therefore, properly manage) all wastes produced that are regulated as hazardous waste in Vermont (i.e., under Vermont's Hazardous Waste Management Regulations). Besides avoiding being cited for this significant violation (and potentially also being subject to penalties), making proper hazardous waste determinations helps ensure that hazardous wastes are both properly (and safely) managed on-site and appropriately (and safely) treated and/or disposed of at designated off-site facilities.


You can view the Hazardous Waste Program's "Making a Hazardous Waste Determination" fact sheet here.


You can view the Vermont Hazardous Waste Management Regulations here.

Hazardous Waste Storage in the Winter
Do not forget about your hazardous waste as the temperatures drop...


 With winter just around the corner, it is important to ensure that "hazardous wastes subject to freezing" - basically, any hazardous waste that contains water - are either stored in a heated space or shipped off-site to an appropriate facility before being exposed to consistently below-freezing temperatures. Because water expands upon freezing, containers or aboveground tanks holding freezable hazardous wastes my bulge and even split if the waste should happen to freeze; upon thawing, that waste could then be released to the environment. A common example of a freezable hazardous waste is fuel/water mixtures.




Under the Vermont Hazardous Waste Regulations, all hazardous wastes must be stored on an impervious surface and within a structure that sheds rain and snow.


A Refresher on the Ubiquitous Oily Waste

An oily waste is any material, solid or liquid, that comes in contact with oil and, as a result, becomes contaminated with it. This includes materials contaminated with crankcase oil, hydraulic oil, fuel oil, compressor oil, machine gearbox oil and cutting oil to name some common uses by businesses and municipalities.   Vermont's Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, any waste containing greater than 5% by weight petroleum distillates is a hazardous waste, assigned the hazardous waste code VT02. As a "Vermont-listed" hazardous waste, the phrase "non-RCRA" is often used to describe oily waste when it is shipped on a manifest. That is because an oily waste is not regulated under federal hazardous waste regulations (nor is it in some states). Another key point is that the 5% by weight criteria applies once the business/generator determines the material to be a waste; in other words, you can reuse the material (if say, it is being used as an absorbent) until you decide it becomes impractical for absorbing oil, at which point it would be collected and put in the VT02 hazardous waste container.


Some suggestions regarding oily wastes include:

  • If you can keep oil off the floor by using funnels, drip pans, or other means, you likely avoid the generation of a hazardous waste; liquid oil that is collected but not able to be reused can then be stored in the "Used Oil" container.
  • If you do generate oily wastes, you can average the weight of that material over six months for figuring your facility's "generator status". This is especially important if say, you have an oil spill that generates a drum or more of oily wastes. The weight of that material may be enough to subject you to additional requirements as a hazardous waste generator; however, the likelihood of that happening may be significantly lessened if you average your facility's generation of oily wastes over a six month period.
  • Shop rags, mats or other absorbents that are contaminated with oil and are commercially laundered (i.e. picked up by a service contractor and laundered for reuse) are conditionally exempt under Vermont's Hazardous Waste Regulations and the weight of such wastes is not considered when figuring "generator status".  

Important terms mentioned in the above are "used oil", "generator status" and "conditionally exempt" wastes.


Please call the Environmental Assistance Office at 800-974-9559 if you have any questions. 

Groundwater Resource and Recharge Area Mapping

Groundwater is a precious resource and one that is essential to the health and wellbeing of the citizenry and the economy. Towns in Vermont are requesting maps that identify groundwater resources to provide a base for planning and protection. Understanding the resource is essential to supporting sound water supply and protection decisions.


The Vermont Geological Survey is currently undertaking a program that looks at existing and new geologic and well data to identify areas that have the potential to yield significant quantities of groundwater to wells.


Thick and extensive saturated sand and gravel in the overburden and open and interconnected fractures in bedrock are the targets for identifying potential higher yield. A Town's glacial overburden and bedrock geology is examined. In combination with subsurface information that includes such parameters as yield, depth, nature of the overburden and bedrock, the potential aquifers can be distinguished if the information is sufficient.


This information is used to develop overburden potential aquifer and thickness maps and town-wide groundwater flow directions. Analysis of the bedrock aquifer focuses on rock type, yield, and other well parameters. The geologic map of surface deposits also serves as a source for percolation rates, soils information, and land use capability for planning purposes.


These base planning maps are intended to reveal potential areas of higher yield aquifers and tighter geology where yields are likely to be generally lower. The recharge area maps are built on the nature of the overburden left behind as the glaciers retreated over Vermont. For example, course grained material can transmit recharge water more easily to the subsurface but the aquifers below may be vulnerable to a contaminant moving along with these waters. Fine grained material can provide a better measure of protection but inhibit the available recharge.


Please visit the Vermont Geological Survey's Groundwater Page for more information.


To see examples of Town groundwater projects click here.


For additional information please contact:

Laurence Becker, Vermont State Geologist and Director of the Vermont Geological Survey

802-522-5165; laurence.becker@state.vt.us

ACT 148: New Recycling Law to Take Effect in July 2014

Effective July 1, 2014, all certified facilities in VT that collect your solid waste must collect all mandated recyclables from you and can not charge a separate fee.  This will mainly impact those of you who self-haul to a transfer station from your business.


Effective July 1, 2015, all licensed solid waste haulers who collect trash and recycling from your business must offer pick up of all mandated recyclables along with your trash and can not charge a separate fee.


Mandated recyclables under Act 148 include: aluminum and steel cans, aluminum foil and pie pans, glass bottles and jars from food and beverages, PET and HDPE plastic bottles and jugs, corrugated cardboard, white and mixed paper, newspaper, magazines, catalogues, paper mail, envelopes, and box board.


If you encounter a situation where you are not able to recycle any of the above listed items, please contact the Solid Waste Program at DEC for assistance in rectifying the situation at

Mia.roethlein@state.vt.us or 522-5926


Stay tuned in this newsletter for other upcoming updates on VT's new Universal Recycling Law.


Please see this link for more information:  Act 148 Universal Recycling VT

On the Horizon: Paintcare Program for Paint Recycling


On July 1, 2014, all manufacturers of architectural paint who wish to sell paint in Vermont will have to participate in an approved paint stewardship program plan.  Architectural paint is defined as interior and exterior architectural coatings. This includes interior and exterior water and oil based coatings, primers, sealers and wood coatings that are sold in containers of five gallons or less. 


For a more details and a complete timeline click here.


 Contact Us
Questions? Need assistance? Feel free to contact the Environmental Assistance Office at anr.wmeaoinfo@state.vt.us.