Vermont Gas to Complete Natural Gas Pipeline by Spring

A controversial pipeline that will travel under a public park in Hinesburg, Vermont is expected to be completed this spring, according to Vermont Gas Systems.

The 41-mile natural gas pipeline by Vermont Gas will run from Colchester to Middlebury through Geprags Park in Hinesburg, an environmentally-rich area that many local residents believe will be damaged by the pipeline.

About 2,000 feet of construction remain on the project, which includes horizontal drilling through the public park.

Last year the Supreme Court ruled to allow Vermont Gas to move forward with construction underneath the park even while litigation is still pending. Vermont Gas has issued a $1 million bond with the court to cover costs of removing the pipeline and restoring the land should the court rule against the company.

Vermont Gas says the completed pipeline would serve 4,000 Vermont families and businesses.

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Vermont Gas Gains Approval for Pipeline Construction in Town Park

Geprags Park in Hinesburg, Vermont. Photo source:

Geprags Park in Hinesburg, Vermont. Photo source:

Vermont Gas Systems and the city of Hinesburg, Vermont concluded its board meeting on Thursday that resulted in the approval of a natural gas pipeline to run through Geprags Park.

The local park in Hinesburg was Vermont Gas Systems’ last hurdle for approval in order to start construction on a 41-mile natural gas pipeline that will run from Colchester to Addison County.

The utility is still waiting for approval from the state Public Service Board regarding concerns about wetlands, but it says it has made large steps in receiving the town’s approval.

An important factor of the agreement is Vermont Gas Systems’ use of horizontal drilling, which has less impact on surface lands.

"This agreement brings important value to the town and allows the company to move forward with construction in Geprags," Vermont Gas said in a statement.

In the deal, Hinesburg will receive $250,000 and Vermont Gas will be required to get a performance bond, which guarantees the project will be completed.


Vermont Gas in its Last Battle for Natural Gas Pipeline

Geprags Community Park in Hinesburg, Vermont. Source:

Geprags Community Park in Hinesburg, Vermont. Source:

The Geprags Park in Hinesburg, Vermont is the last of 164 property deals for Vermont Gas to finalize a natural gas pipeline that, when completed, would run 41 miles and expand service to residential and business customers in the Middlebury area.

Advocates for the protection of Geprags Park are hesitant to see damage done to the town-owned land as it could disrupt bird habitat, cause harm to sensitive wetlands, and violate the terms of the park’s origins.

CEO of Vermont Gas Don Rendall stated that construction of the line is currently continuing on either side of the park until a settlement is made about the path through the park with the town of Hinesburg. The company has promised the town payments, property tax revenue, and safe construction methods that protect the environment.

Rendall also noted that the line would extend natural gas to residents in Hinesburg who are currently using kerosene to heat their homes. As a result, those residents would see significant cost-saving benefits by use of natural gas.

The Vermont Public Service Board will hold a closed hearing over land use on August 4. Although normally open to the public, the board made the decision to close the hearing and instead allow the public to listen via phone. This decision was made after the board ruled that protestors at past meetings made it difficult to do state business due to singing, chanting, and other demonstrations.

A citizen of Huntington said she is fighting in federal court for more access to the hearing.

Vermont Gas said it expects to finish the pipeline by the end of this year.

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