Environmentalists Urge Vermont Gas To Engage Public
10/04/11 12:04PM By John Dillon
(Host) An environmental group is urging Vermont Gas Systems to engage the public as it plans a new natural gas pipeline from Chittenden to Addison County.
The pipeline got a boost from state regulators recently when they allowed the gas company to set up a special fund to pay for it. Now the group Vermonters for a Clean Environment says Vermont Gas should address potential impacts early in the planning process.
Matt Levin is outreach and development director for the organization.
(Levin) "We're proposing to both Vermont Gas Systems and the Department of Public Service that there be a community-based stakeholder process with joint fact-finding for this project, so the issues can be explored without people taking sides or at least before people take sides."
(Host) Levin says he'd like to see Vermont Gas and members of the public jointly agree on experts who could review the project.
The company also says a collaborative approach makes sense. A company spokesman says he's been in touch with Vermonters for a Clean Environment and is willing to work together before the project route is finalized.