February 25, 2020

Pipeline hangs on board’s decision

By Erin Mansfield

For Vermont Digger

After two days of testimony, the Public Service Board is re-evaluating a December 2013 decision to grant Vermont Gas a permit for Phase 1 of the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project. The pipeline would run from Colchester to Middlebury and serve about 3,000 customers.

The board has the power to halt the pipeline construction. At issue is the escalating cost of the pipeline, which has increased from $86.6 million to $153.6 million.

That increase prompted the Public Service Board to take another look at the company’s certificate of public good. From here, the quasi-judicial Public Service Board can issue an order to keep the project going, or make the company re-argue for its state permit. In October, the board went through an identical series of hearings but ultimately decided the project was still a benefit to the public. This week, they appeared to be more skeptical.

Vermont Gas put its top executives on the witness stand during the first day of hearings. On Tuesday, public advocates brought in witnesses who criticized both the pipeline extension project and the calculations that the company has used to justify the efficacy of the pipeline.

For the full story, visit: vtdigger.org

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