Cornwall residents speak out against natural gas pipeline - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cornwall residents speak out against natural gas pipeline

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Cornwall is the latest town saying no to a plan to bring natural gas to the International Paper Mill in Ticonderoga, N.Y.

"I will fight you tooth and nail, I don't want this for any of us on any level," said Cornwall resident Mary Martin.

That's the sentiment shared by more than 100 people in Cornwall who showed up to a meeting Wednesday to voice concerns about the proposed Addison Natural Gas pipeline.

"Our land is very precious to us and we have no intentions of allowing an International Paper gas transmission line to burden our property," said Randy Martin. 

As the route is currently planned, the pipeline will run through six properties and won't come within 300 feet of any homes. Some at the meeting oppose the disruption of their land, others -- the idea that International Paper and Vermont Gas will be benefiting at what they feel is their expense.

"It's a Canadian-owned gas company to serve an international paper company which has very little vested interest in the residents of Cornwall itself," said resident Stan Gryzb.

The town will receive roughly $240,000 a year for hosting the pipeline and those on the route will be able to plug in. Still, Cornwall is one of several towns along the route opposing the project.

"We've also seen when we go into communities that have some concerns and we get to working together and they understand the projects better -- in many cases we're able to work together to find a good solution and that's what we'd be very interested in doing here," said Don Gilbert, CEO of Vermont Gas Company.

Ultimately the decision to sign off on the certificate of public good lies with the Public Service Board, not the town.

"We're in the position of listening to you, of trying to incorporate your concerns into our decision, but ultimately we have to decide what's in the public interest and good of the state," Vt. Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia said.

The final route will be decided on sometime in the late summer or early fall.

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