Vermont Supreme Court yanks Exit 16 Act 250 permit

Published: Aug. 30, 2019 at 11:12 AM EDT
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The Vermont Supreme Court Friday delivered mixed news for VTrans' plans to build the state's first "diverging diamond" traffic pattern at Exit 16 in Colchester.

In their decision, the justices upheld the issuance of the project's stormwater permit but reversed the Environmental Court's decision to grant an Act 250 permit.

The decision continues the state's multi-year legal battle with Maplefields gas station owner Skip Vallee and the Conservation Law Foundation over concerns about runoff into a local stream.

VTrans is looking to create what's called a diverging diamond for Exit 16 off Interstate 89. Elements of the $8 million traffic project are also a requirement for Costco to open its long-awaited gas station.

In their decision, the justices said the Environmental Court erred in its ruling that Vallee could not challenge chloride or phosphorus levels under Act 250's Criterion 1.

VTrans officials had been optimistic the project could start moving forward next spring, but Friday's decision could cause further delays.