For Immediate Release
October 29, 2008
Assistant Attorney General Evan J. Mulholland
Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack, of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES"), announce that the Hillsborough County Superior Court, Northern District, ruled on October 23, 2008 that George Brooks, of Windsor, New Hampshire, must pay penalties in the amount of $100,000 for discharging oil and gasoline that resulted in severe contamination of the groundwater at his property.
The Court ordered Mr. Brooks to immediately cease and desist from repairing or salvaging any vehicles or tanks of any kind on his property, and from undertaking any activity that may result in a discharge of oil, gasoline, or other hazardous material. The ruling also requires that Mr. Brooks cease burning any material other than leaves, brush or untreated wood. The ruling comes in a civil enforcement action filed by the state in September 2007.
George Brooks owns a parcel of land in Windsor adjacent to Route 31. Over the past ten years, Mr. Brooks failed to use proper oil and gasoline management practices in the operation of his salvage yard business. This failure resulted in the contamination of the groundwater at the site with benzene, MtBE and other chemicals. Mr. Brooks also illegally used burn barrels to recover scrap metal from sources, including insulated wire.
"This decision sends a message to all salvage yard operators that they must comply with state law and DES rules, or risk civil penalties," said DES Commissioner Thomas S. Burack.
"This office will continue to actively enforce violations of the State's groundwater protection laws, which serve to protect the public's health and the environment," said Attorney General Ayotte.
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