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DORSET, VT

Dorset resolved to oppose the NYSEG/SVNG natural gas pipeline project, April 20.
The preferred route of the proposed NYSEG/SVNG natural gas pipeline through Dorset Township lies adjacent to US7. This is the only route currently proposed for this section of the pipeline.
Dorset Map Legend

Some aspects of this route include the following.

Where US7 enters the southeast corner of the town [1 on map] the highway occupies a mile-long cut with exposed bedrock on the hillside to the east and a steep drop to wetland on the Batten Kill to the west. Assuming that the pipeline would lie at road level, pipeline construction would involve the removal and disposal of an estimated 250 thousand cubic yards of rock (quartzites).

Between this road cut and the village of East Dorset the pipeline would cross two important tributaries of the Batten Kill - Mad Tom and Little Mad Tom Brooks.

Within the village of East Dorset [2] the railroad, the Batten Kill, and many residences and businesses of the village lie within 100' east of the highway. Pipeline construction parallel to the highway would have a severe impact on all, and routing the pipeline through the village center would involve tremendous disruption. Locating the pipeline on the hillside directly west of the highway would involve the considerable excavation (blasting) of bedrock (quartzites and dolomites).

North of the village center, the pipeline would be routed through the middle of the fields of farmer Harold Beebe, who hosts a popular national horse show every year that benefits local fire and rescue services.

The US7 pipeline route at Emerald Lake [3] poses several problems:

  1. The pipeline would be cutting through the Emerald Lake State Park (or alternatively through the Emerald Lake State Forest). Considering that State Parks and State Forests are established to preserve and conserve environment, any proposal to build a major (and moreover private) transportation corridor through this area needs to be fully and rigorously justified.
  2. US7 through the Park now occupies a mile-long road cut bounded in part by a 100' high rock face along the eastern side and a by steep drop to the railroad and Emerald Lake along the western. Cutting 75 to 100' into the rock face at road level would be a major construction project in itself, and would involve removing and disposing several hundred thousand cubic yards of rock (quartzose dolomites).
  3. Pipeline construction would have a severe impact on Park access and use - camping, swimming, hiking. (See Preferred Route Meeting Minutes.) The long-term visual, ecological and social effects of a pipeline right-of-way within the Park have not been addressed.

North of Emerald Lake [4] (North Dorset to the town line) US7 crosses Otter Creek then parallels the creek and the many wetlands along the creek. These waters serve as a coldwater fishery and spawning area for the Creek.

Dorset members of the VCE Advisory Board: Robert Menson, Cynthia Smith, Austin Chinn
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Copyright © 1999 by Vermonters for a Clean Environment
Revised: October 25, 1999