Protect Geprags Park:
We are an all-volunteer group who came together in 2016 to oppose the construction of the Vermont Gas Systems fracked-gas pipeline through our hometown park in Hinesburg, Vermont.
As the 41-mile long pipeline pushed down the state, Vermonters came forward with stories of broken landowner agreements, of negligent environmental analysis, of lives put at risk during installation, and of safety threats buried with the pipeline.
Members of Protect Geprags Park began to study thousands of pages in the public record. These documents detail a history of problems compounded across all years of construction. We submitted two extensive compilations of concerns to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the State of Vermont. As the voices of Vermonters rose, both federal and state investigations were opened.
Our push now is for the most independent and comprehensive safety review possible. This high-pressure pipeline runs through villages, near homes and along roads. It crosses working farmland and cuts through wetlands and dozens of streams. For miles it follows the high voltage electric corridor, which in itself is precedent-setting in Vermont and comes with complex, embedded risks.
Alleged violations include a degradation of the safety requirements specified in the VT Certificate of Public Good as well as the breaking of MINIMUM federal safety regulations across all years of construction. Among the problems: coating failures in unknown numbers along the Addison Natural Gas Pipeline (coatings are the first line of defense against corrosion); trash/metal/glass buried in the backfill; pipe buried without the specified support; repair materials which themselves were flawed; shallow depth of cover; lack of effective quality assurance protocols and worker training; and missing or flawed records of inspection that inhibit comprehensive risk analysis and long-term monitoring.
Fracked gas buildout is escalating across North America. The potency of this fuel makes it worse in the short term than even burning coal. The life systems of the Earth and a habitable climate are at stake as time runs out for change... Meanwhile the land and the lives and health of the people where the gas is fracked are being devastated. PGP is determined to confront fossil gas buildout in our own state, and thereby to stand for the protection of the climate, the Earth, and the land and people everywhere.
Funding for our efforts was provided by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, the Anne Slade Frey Charitable Trust, 350Vermont, a grant from an anonymous donor through the Chicago Community Trust, and many individual donations.