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VGS officials are saying anything to get project OK’d

(This letter was published in the Addison Independent on April 18th 2013)

 We read with great interest the Independent’s editorial last week regarding the need for Vermont Gas Systems to slow down the process of selecting a route for Phase 2 of the Addison Natural Gas Project.

As landowners whose property in Shoreham is being considered for the path of the proposed pipeline that would connect Middlebury with the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, N.Y., we find ourselves swept up into a process that is moving far too fast.

There are so many issues affecting landowners that we hardly know where to begin, but a starting point concerns the gas company’s credibility. When we were contacted by VGS representatives late last fall who were seeking permission to survey our property for a natural gas transmission line, it was the first we had heard of the project.

At the time, we asked what would happen if we didn’t want the pipeline passing through our property. The representative told us there was nothing we could do to prevent this from happening, and VGS would take our land by eminent domain if necessary.

At subsequent meetings concerning the pipeline project, we heard similar stories from landowners in Cornwall and Shoreham. VGS officials claimed no route had been chosen, and the people who were contacting landowners last fall had misspoken. You can put it any way you want, but landowners like us were misled by the gas company.

It seems as though VGS officials will say anything to get their project approved, and efforts to include landowners in the process have been narrowed down to a select few, many of whom had already made up their minds before we had heard of the pipeline plan.

 

Tim Clemens and Barbara Bosworth

Shoreham

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