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A Dairy Expands Near Polluted Lakes, Putting Regulators to the Test

Pleasant Valley Farms built one of the state’s largest farming operations last year, in one of Vermont’s most polluted watersheds, without a permit, according to documents obtained by VTDigger.

The only action taken thus far by the state’s Agency of Agriculture, which is responsible for regulating Vermont farms and has the enforcement authority to address the state’s worsening problem of water pollution resulting from farming, has been to request that the owners apply for the permit retroactively.

Pleasant Valley Farms is now in the process of obtaining the permit it should have obtained prior to last year’s expansion project, on a plot of land the state is calling the Lumbra Farm.

Agency of Agriculture officials say they first learned of the illegal operation in October 2017. They won’t say whether they plan to penalize Pleasant Valley Farms, which is owned by the St. Pierre family, which includes Amanda St. Pierre, executive director of the Vermont Dairy Producers Alliance, a dairy lobby.

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