The Public Service Board has given the green light for the natural gas pipeline in Addison County.
The decision comes after months of meetings with concerned citizens within towns along the proposed pipeline.
Monday, Vermont Gas was granted a Certificate of Public Good for phase one of the project, which will extend service to Middlebury, and will bring natural gas service to Monkton, Ferrisburgh, Vergennes, New Haven, Bristol, Middlebury and East Middlebury.
Supporters had said the Addison-Rutland Natural Gas project will cut heating costs for homeowners while opponents argued the move will harm the environment.
"We feel that the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure is not a step forward in the right direction, that it will undercut our in other ways of developing energy sources and prioritizing weatherization in peoples homes," said Avery Pittman, with Rising Ride Vermont.
Vermont Gas issued a statement about the approval, "This decision will make it possible to extend the same economic and environmental benefits of natural gas service to more Vermonters in Addison County. We look forward to helping more Vermonters to cut their heating bills in half."
In a statement, Gov. Peter Shumlin praised the decision: "The Vermont Public Service Board got it right. This project gives our businesses and industries, as well as residential homes, a fuel choice that is cleaner and cheaper than what many of them are currently using. That's good for growing jobs and strengthening economic development in that region, just as it has been for Chittenden and Franklin Counties for decades. I am very pleased with the Board's decision."
Vermont Gas hopes to break ground on the pipeline in late winter or early spring.
Friday, March 7 2014 10:55 AM EST2014-03-07 15:55:16 GMT
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