By: Mike Polhamus for VTDigger, Feb. 15, 2018

Vermont Gas, the natural gas utility owned by Canadian fossil fuel giant Énergir, has likely buried an Addison County gas pipeline improperly, regulators said this week in a filing with the Public Utility Commission.

The Department of Public Service has asked the PUC to assess a $25,000 fine against Vermont Gas for failing to bury the pipeline according to the standards set out in the state permit authorizing the pipeline’s construction.

Vermont Gas had agreed, as a condition of its 2013 Addison County gas pipeline construction permit, to bury the pipeline on top of sandbags, or on other support structures, or on at least six inches of approved backfill material. But the Department of Public Service said Wednesday that it had identified about 4,300 feet of pipeline sitting on unsupported earth.