By David Charns / Source: WPTZ Channel 5 News
HINESBURG, Vt. —Environmental activists and community members made their voices heard about a planned natural gas pipeline through Addison County and under Lake Champlain.
The gathering occurred at Central Valley Union High School, before the Public Service Board held a hearing about the proposed pipeline.
Vermont Gas wants to build a foot-wide line from Colchester to Middlebury, transporting natural gas from Canada to Addison County. The utility already runs 700 miles of natural gas pipeline through Vermont.
A second phase of the project, in its initial planning stages, would take the fuel from the Middlebury area under Lake Champlain to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, N.Y.
Vermont Gas moved the planned route for the first phase of the project after neighbors requested the pipeline not interfere with some property. Part of the pipeline will follow power electric lines rather than along roadways, Vermont Gas communications director Stephen Wark said.
Engineers have not announced through what communities the second phase of the project will travel.
“This pipeline is a plan to bring dirty, fracked gas from Canada into Vermont,” said Sara Mehalick of Rising Tide Vermont, an organization working to limit reliance on fossil fuels.