On September 7, 2017, an Environmental Assessment was made available for public review and comment. This Environmental Assessment was for using the Vermont Route 279 right-of-way as a location to receive up to 44,000 cubic yards of excess soils (spoils) from the waterline extension project that is taking place in North Bennington and portions of Bennington. A public meeting was held at the Bennington Firehouse (2nd Floor). Approximately 30 people attended the public meeting. In addition to public comments at the meeting, written letters and emails were submitted during the public comment period, which ended on October 13, 2017. Most of the verbal and written comments were opposed to using the Vermont Route 279 Right-of-Way near Austin Hill Road as a location to dispose of excess soils.
In response to the concerns expressed during the public comment period, the VT Route 279 right-of-way along Austin Hill Road site is no longer being considered as a primary location to receive spoils. It is possible that the VT Route 279 right-of-way will not even be needed. If this location is used, it will only receive spoils from the immediate neighborhood, that is, spoils from waterline work along Bard Road, Murphy Road, Red Pine Road, and Austin Hill Road. This restriction would also significantly reduce the number of trucks that would travel through Old Bennington and Austin Hill-Bard Road area.
A revised Environmental Assessment for this proposed action was completed in response to the public comments. This document includes the public comments and a responsiveness summary to the public comments. On January 8, 2018, the revised Environmental Assessment was submitted to VTrans and the Federal Highway Administration requesting their approval of this use within the VT Route 279 right-of-way. The revised Environmental Assessment is available online and at the Bennington Town Offices, located at 205 South Street. If you have any questions about the submittal, please contact John Schmeltzer or Richard Spiese of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation at 802.828.1138.