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Hello Again!

It has been a month since I posted on this site – and that is unacceptable!  However, it has been really crazy in the office with campus visitors and application files to be read.

Anyway, here I am again.  Applicants often ask about the kinds of cases that are handled through the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.  Here is a posting that came through campus e-mail today:

The ENRLC is very pleased to announce that it has prevailed on summary judgment in the Vermont Environmental Court after three years of litigation concerning groundwater contamination at the Omya mineral processing facility in Florence, Vermont. For years, Omya has dumped its waste into unlined pits, which has caused the groundwater under its facility to become contaminated with arsenic and aminoethyl ethanolamine (AEEA). Our clients, the Residents Concerned about Omya (RCO), have been advocating for the protection of this groundwater at this site for over seven years.
Today, Judge Wright of the Environmental Court ruled in RCO’s favor and determined that the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) must conduct a public trust analysis when issuing a waste disposal certification for activities that may impact groundwater. This ruling is the first interpretation of Vermont’s 2008 law designating groundwater of the State as a public trust resource. Accordingly, the ENRLC has played an important part in establishing a groundbreaking precedent that will help protect the groundwater resources of the State for future generations of Vermonters. Omya’s final certification has been vacated, and the final certification has been remanded to ANR to perform this analysis. A copy of the decision is attached. We anticipate that Omya will appeal the decision to the Vermont Supreme Court, and the ENRLC will continue to represent RCO in those proceedings.

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