Hinesburg’s Geprags Park Continues to block pipeline completion

Ms. Carly Alpert, CVC Special Environmental Correspondent

We live in a time when our civilization’s growth seems to be limited only by the availability of energy. We all use it in our daily lives, and probably couldn’t imagine a world without lights, television, and heat. But people are questioning if the possible risks outweigh the benefits of capturing this energy. The pipeline crossing Geprags park in Hinesburg has been a recent source of controversy, though the project has been in the works for the past four years. This last section of pipeline will complete a 41-mile stretch from Colchester to Middlebury, and will allow for the distribution of gas to homes and businesses in Addison County.

Image from protectgeprags.org

Image from protectgeprags.org

Activists speaking out against the pipeline are concerned about the environmental and safety implications. Pipelines have been known to explode, causing colossal damage. According to insideenergy.org, there have been 4,269 pipeline incidents since 2010; 64 of them involved fatal injuries. Leaks are also a major concern. 474 people have been injured, 100 people have been killed, and $3.5 billion of damage has occurred as a result of pipeline accidents, leaks and spills. This has all occurred in the United States alone. Is providing energy to better the economies of these Vermont communities worth the risk of a malfunction? Explosions and leaks can also be very detrimental to the environment. While a malfunctioning pipeline is very dangerous, however, the probability of one exploding is extremely low.

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Vermont Passes Gas

Mr. Dillon Hamrell

Gas, when leaked from a methane pipeline, can cover a city before it’s noticed. It can coat a house without the owner realising it has company. It visits everywhere without being let in. As long as the gas is there it can harm the people in the house. It can affect daily life. When the gas is spotted a whole town can clear that day. It can move thousands of people in hours.

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Vermont Gas Systems’ pipeline is proposed to be beyond the electric line. Trails and a sledding hill for Geprags Park are on the right. Photo courtesy of Burlington Free Press

In California 65,000 lbs of methane gas an hour is leaking from a pipe. This caused a several thousand person evacuation of thousands of homes. There is also a no fly zone above this because of the possibility that the methane could ignite. The leak could affect even more people because the gas is still leaking today. The gas being leaked has been going for months. It is a massive leak; one of the biggest in history.

California has a methane pipeline that carries natural gases around the state. These pipelines carry methane that can make a massive impact on the environment.The gas is invisible to the naked eye.

At the leak’s peak, it was spewing at about 72 million standard cubic feet of methane a day, which emitted the same amount of global warming pollution as driving 9 million cars a day, according to Tim O’Connor, who runs EDF’s oil and gas program in California.

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