Vermonters for a Clean Environment
October 1, 2004
* * * * * FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE * * * * *
VCE has triumphed over the Omya project
On Sept. 4, 2000, Vermonters for a Clean Environment, a grassroots organization based in Danby, made a commitment to keeping the Danby Four Corners valley the beautiful treasure that it is. Rich in natural resources that sustain a diversity of species, including globally rare and endangered species, this special place has been called by many "one of the most beautiful places in the whole USA." The valley is frequently pictured in Vermont Life Magazine and is a place where old and new occupants embrace the historic cultural values of Vermont and where the people respect the land . The valley has an agricultural economy with home-based businesses, all of which became threatened by two different industrial development projects beginning in 1999.
Citizens joined together in 1999 to form VCE for the purpose of dealing with a proposed billion dollar natural gas power plant and pipeline project. While the gas project was still going on, in January 2000, Omya announced its plan to open a new mine in the Danby Four Corners valley. The gas project ended in September, 2000, when then-Governor Howard Dean told the power plant backers to "go away."
Four years later, Vermonters for a Clean Environment is pleased to claim our second major victory, this time over Omya's plans for their new mine in Danby. Omya announced in a recent letter to the Danby Selectboard* that, "We made alternative plans to supply our customers from other locations, and as a result have closed this project."
Countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent by the people of this region to protect our communities and our environment. While the media has frequently labeled us as "foes" and "opponents," we are, after all, the residents who live here. We are only working to protect our way of life and ensure that the future for our children will be one that is happy and preserves the economic viability of this special place.
VCE wishes to thank all of the people who have worked so hard to achieve this victory. We will remain vigilant into the future.
For more information about Vermonters for a Clean Environment, click here.
*The following letter was read at the Danby Selectboard meeting 9/30/04:
Sept. 23, 2004
Dear Danby Selectboard Members,
As you know, Omya had planned to develop a quarry on a portion of its lands in Danby and, in that regard, had submitted to the Selectboard a preliminary conceptual plan in 2000, which was subsequently withdrawn. In the fall of 2000, we also held an informational meeting with interested citizens in Danby, to answer questions and hear concerns about the status of the conceptual plan.
This letter is to bring you up to date on the above mentioned conceptual plan.
About two years ago, I put this project on hold and Omya stopped all activity at that time. Omya has done nothing since then regarding any additional work or studies on the Jobe Phillips property.
We made alternative plans to supply our customers from other locations, and as a result have closed this project.
James M. Reddy
Omya Industries, Inc.
cc: Wallingford Selectboard
Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Inc.
789 Baker Brook Rd.
Danby, VT 05739