Environmental groups are celebrating a ruling that an oil pipeline that runs across the state would need an Act 250 permit if it were to carry tar sands from Canada.
The Portland-Montreal Pipeline is currently used to ship oil North to Canada. But the company has expressed interest in reversing the flow in order to help find an export market for Canadian tar sands. In a decision Monday, state environmental regulators affirmed that such a change in use would fall under the state's Act 250 land use permit.
"This is great news for Vermonters because if a big project like this moves forward, it means we're going to be able to manage and have our regulations protecting our interests in the state of Vermont, which are our environmental and economic and land use interests," said Johanna Miller of the Vermont Natural Resources Council.
In a statement Tuesday, a spokesman for the pipeline company said they are aware of the decision and are considering their options. So far, the producers of the Canadian oil have said they have no intentions of using the Portland pipeline.
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