On May 15, 2024
Local News

Logging company fined for wetland and water quality impacts in Bridgewater, Thetford

The Agency of Natural Resources Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Vermont Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) announced May 8 that Thomson Timber Harvesting and Trucking LLC (Thompson Timber), a company that performs logging activities in Vermont, was fined $32,550 for violating the Vermont Wetland Rules and failing to follow acceptable management practices (AMPs) for maintaining water quality on logging jobs in Vermont.

Between 2017 and 2020, Thomson Timber engaged in logging activities on two properties in Bridgewater and Thetford. During site visits, several discharges caused by the failure to properly install stream crossings, construct waterbars, smooth ruts, and seed and mulch exposed soils was observed. Additionally there were alterations to wetland and vernal pool habitat and hydrology from excessive brush and rutting.

Thompson Timber completed remediation of the sites in the summer of 2021 (with agency oversight) as well as a fine of $32,550 for the violations. This agreement was incorporated into a Final Judicial Order of the Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division on May 1, 2024.

Healthy forests, wetlands, and waterways provide valuable and necessary services to the public and environment such as wildlife habitat and water quality protection. Vermont’s laws aim to improve water quality over time, protect wetland functions and values, and reduce existing risks, all while maintaining a working forested landscape and a vibrant forest-based economy. AMPs for maintaining water quality on logging jobs in Vermont are designed to protect water quality and ensure that loggers are in compliance with the Vermont Water Quality Standards by providing measures to utilize before, during, and after logging operations.

“Being a responsible logger entails prioritizing the health of our forests and waterways,” said Danielle Fitzko, FPR commissioner. “By adhering to the acceptable management practices, loggers play an essential role in safeguarding water quality.”

“Companies engaging in activities that have the potential to impact wetlands and waterways are responsible for complying with applicable regulations,” said Jason Batchelder, DEC commissioner. “It is important to hold responsible those who do not take required measures to minimize impacts on the environment.”

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