Vermont Pure receives expansion permit

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(Host) Vermont Pure Springs has received the go-ahead to expand its spring site in Randolph. The company’s plans have drawn fire from some local residents who object to increased traffic caused by the expansion.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports.

(Zind) Vermont Pure says it needs to meet growing demand by developing additional springs and using more trucks to haul water down a dirt road in Randolph Center. People who live on the road said the company’s plans violated the town zoning laws by creating a traffic hazard and altering the character of the rural area. The Randolph Development Review Board disagreed.

The Board approved Vermont Pure’s application to increase truck traffic from ten to twenty-five trucks a day and to expand the hours the trucks can run. In granting the permit, the Board also required Vermont Pure to work with the town to improve the road. And the Board ordered the company to study alternatives to trucking, including a pipeline to carry the water.

Jonathan Walters lives next to the Vermont Pure Spring site. Walters says the Board ignored neighbors’ concerns about the safety and impact of the increased truck traffic.

(Walters) “The company has gotten everything it wanted and is now allowed to ruin our lives by running their trucks just about all hours of the day, seven days a week. There hasn’t been a single concession to us. Not one. We lost everything.”

(Zind) Vermont Pure officials couldn’t be reached for comment, but the company has said it’s tried to balance neighbors’ concerns with the need to expand. The new permit represents fewer trucks than the firm had originally applied for.

Vermont Pure still must get Act 250 approval for the expansion. Opponents have 30 days to appeal the Development Review Board’s ruling. Jonathan Walters says he isn’t sure yet what his group will do.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

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