Vt. Supreme Court rejects gas pipeline appeal

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Activists opposed to Vermont Gas' pipeline going under a Hinesburg park have lost another state supreme court decision.

The pipeline opponents had argued in court using the so-called "prior public use doctrine." They said that because the 85-acre Geprags Park was already designated for public use, Vermont Gas could not claim it for public use under eminent domain, and the Public Service Board could not grant a permit.

But in their ruling Friday, the high court found that the doctrine did not apply, and that "installation of the pipeline, and its ongoing presence, will have a negligible effect on the existing use of the park."

The park was the final piece connecting the 41-mile Addison pipeline project that was completed earlier this year.