Partnership Settles Hazmat Claims for $70,000 | Off Message

Partnership Settles Hazmat Claims for $70,000


A partnership of members of Burlington's Handy family has agreed to pay $70,000 to settle claims that hazardous materials spilled from an auto shop on Riverside Avenue near a drain that empties into the Winooski River, Attorney General Bill Sorrell announced today. 

Waste oil stored at the former M&H Auto building spilled in February 2012, necessitating a response from both state and local hazardous material teams. During follow-up inspections of the shuttered auto shop, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources found several problems with the storage of hazardous materials, according to court documents, including large drums of waste that were rusted, uncovered, or left outside.

Additionally, several 55-gallon drums full of waste were not properly labeled and catalogued with federal regulators, the attorney general's office said. It was unclear from court papers whether any of the spilled oil reached the nearby river.

"Vermont businesses that generate and handle hazardous waste must follow the state's hazardous waste management rules," Sorrell said in a prepared statement. "Those rules protect the public health and the environment. We take violations of the rules seriously."

In court papers, the Handys, who run numerous Burlington businesses, admitted the attorney general's allegations, and said that several of the drums had been left by prior tenants. The family, operating under the Sisters and Brothers Investment Group LLP, implemented proper procedures for handling waste after the incident, the attorney general said.

A Washington County judge approved the settlement.