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Opponents Petition To Halt Vermont Pipeline Construction

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 4:48pm
Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Critics of a natural gas pipeline expansion in western Vermont want construction halted while state regulators review a recent 40 percent increase in the project's cost estimate.

Anti-pipeline activists say they'll launch a "fish-in" at the Public Service Board on Tuesday afternoon to protest what they're calling a bait-and-switch by project developer Vermont Gas Systems.

The company announced earlier this month the estimated cost of phase one of the project had climbed by 40 percent, to more than $121 million. The company attributes higher costs to route changes to accommodate landowners and towns along the route.

Vermont Gas wants to extend its system from Franklin and Chittenden counties south through Addison and eventually Rutland counties, with a spur under Lake Champlain to serve a paper mill in New York.

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