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Hundreds of hazwaste sites threaten public health in Vermont, states advocate.

An environmental group says that even in a state as beautiful as Vermont there are hundreds of hazardous waste sites that pose a threat to public health.

The Toxics Action Center based in Montpelier has catalogued the sites in a new report. The pollution problems range from large Superfund sites to illegal junkyards. Brendan Gallagher is an organizer with the group.

"We're releasing this report today for two reasons,". said Gallagher. "One, to serve as a resource for Vermonters, and the second is an effort to hold these polluters more accountable."

The report highlights the issue of unregulated junk yards that can damage groundwater and nearby streams, according to Steve Dickens, health and environment director with the River Network.

Said Dickens, "Many of these sites are old and abandoned junkyards and they contain things like contaminants such as lead from old car batteries, mercury from old switches and thermostats, Freon from old refrigerators, antifreeze, motor oil and a host of other contaminants."

The Vermont Legislature tightened regulation of junkyards last year. But the environmentalists say 215 sites are still operating illegally. They say the challenge now is to make sure the new law is enforced.

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Publication:Hazardous Waste Superfund Alert
Date:Jan 25, 2011
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