Vermont Gas in its Last Battle for Natural Gas Pipeline

Geprags Community Park in Hinesburg, Vermont. Source: www.thecitizenvt.com

Geprags Community Park in Hinesburg, Vermont. Source: www.thecitizenvt.com

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.

Source:
New England Cable News