The largest environmental watchdog group in the Adirondack Park, the Adirondack Council, has thrown its support behind a proposed natural gas pipeline crossing Lake Champlain from Vermont to International Paper’s Ticonderoga Mill.
“This will result in a dramatic drop in pollution for New York and for downwind areas of Vermont,” Adirondack Council Executive Director Willie Janeway said during a Nov. 18 public hearing on the proposed pipeline. “This would be welcome news not only for environmental reasons but for public health benefits. These are public benefits.”
Vermont Gas is proposing an additional transmission line from its Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project which will run from Vermont, under Lake Champlain, and to the IP Mill. The mill would then power their boiler with natural gas instead of No. 6 fuel oil.
“I hope (people) take note that things have changed in the Adirondacks,” Janeway added. “You have town and economic leaders talking about environmental responsibility. You have environmental engineers working with businesses to bring balance.”
The meeting was held by the New York State Public Service Commission, who will continue to take comments from the public through the end of the year.
Local government leaders have also come out in support of the project.
“They are trying to improve the environment by supplying fuel to IP which will cut their emissions by 50 percent,” Ticonderoga Supervisor Bill Grinnell said. “I would like to see IP continue as a successful company in this area. I really feel this is for the good in the community.”
Members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors also attended to show their support for the project.
The proposal also received support from Lake George Association Executive Director Walt Lender, who also works with IP.
“We could not have as vibrant of a community if we did not have the strong corporate partner that IP is,” Lender said.
“Our board is unanimously behind the proposal to bring natural gas to IP,” Chairman Randy Douglas said. “We went through the closure of a paper mill in Jay, and we are still recovering from the effects. This is a lifeline for IP.”
The Business Council of New York State supports the project and is preparing comments that will be submitted to the state Department of Public Service (DPS).
The DPS will receive comments on the project known as case number 14-T-0406, through December 31.
Comments regarding the case can be submitted by email to email@example.com; by mail to Secretary Kathleen H. Burgess, NYS Public Service Commission, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, N.Y., 12223-1350 (Re: Case 14-T-0406); or by accessing the case file through the DPS website and selecting the “post comments” link.