For Immediate Release
November 21, 2022
Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella announces the arrest of Daniel Benoit, Sr. of 600 Main Street, Lancaster, New Hampshire for indirect civil contempt of court based on his longstanding refusal to comply with a series of court orders (from July of 2018 through September of 2022). The orders required Mr. Benoit to cease operating a motor vehicle and scrap metal yard at 600 Main Street in Lancaster pending him getting the site into compliance with State solid waste and hazardous waste laws.
The Court ordered the Mr. Benoit's arrest after first finding him in contempt of the Court's orders on half-a-dozen prior occasions since 2019 and after the imposition of $100,000 in fines, as well as an additional $55,500 in contempt sanctions, proved insufficient to incentivize him to initiate and sequentially complete the court-ordered cleanup of his illegal motor vehicle salvage (junkyard) and scrap metal yard.
Mr. Benoit has since been released on bail conditions which require him to initiate cleanup efforts on one area of his auto salvage yard/scrap metal facility and to complete the cleanup of that first site no later than January 15, 2023. Mr. Benoit is also required to sequentially complete the cleanup of nine other areas of the site pursuant to a Compliance Schedule imposed by the Court's November 1, 2021 Order (one area at a time, 60 days to clean up each area). The Court cautioned Mr. Benoit that any continued failure to comply with the Court's orders could result in his reincarceration for indirect civil contempt. The Court has scheduled a review hearing to re-assess Mr. Benoit's compliance on February 6, 2023 following another NHDES inspection of the site 3-5 business days prior to the February 6, 2023 review hearing.
The NHDES Solid Waste Management Bureau and the Motor Vehicle Salvage Yard Program have attempted to work with Mr. Benoit since December of 2013 in an effort to get the site into compliance. The Attorney General's Office also brought suit and secured a judgment against Mr. Benoit in July of 2018, which deferred civil penalties but required Mr. Benoit to bring the site into compliance.
The Court ordered Mr. Benoit to remove all end-of-life (junk) vehicles ("ELVs") from the site and to stop accepting additional ELVs, to remove all containerized motor vehicle fluids, remove all junk car parts, solid waste (including household garbage) and waste tires from 10 areas on the site.
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301