Federal Department Investigating Vermont's Oversight Of Pipeline Construction

Jan 27, 2017

The federal department that oversees pipeline safety is looking into Vermont Gas Systems' 41-mile extension into Addison County.

The review comes in response to a grassroots citizens' group in Hinesburg, who petitioned the federal department to investigate their concerns about the state's oversight of the pipeline construction. 

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration clarified in an email that it is investigating "reported concerns regarding the safety and integrity of the Vermont Gas System Addison Natural Gas Project." 

A department spokesman said that its "welding and corrosion experts" are reviewing the pipeline's construction records and construction practices.  

The department wouldn't comment further, other than to say the investigation is ongoing.  

"We work very closely with the Department of Public Service, our state regulators, and our federal regulators to ensure that all safety standards are met or exceeded," says Beth Parent, a spokesperson with Vermont Gas.

Some of the citizens who requested the investigation have also been active in legal battles to prevent the pipeline from passing under a wetland in Hinesburg.