Let's clean up the Eden Mines

To the Editor:

The Eden mines have been dormant since 1993. The Lamoille Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) has been working on revitalizing the site and create energy from local forests. Through pyrolysis, bio-mass can be converted to a syn-gas, which then can create electricity and liquid fuel. The mine site is an ideal location. There is power already in place, and the location is central, which reduces transportation costs.

The key is clean up. This will require Superfund designation. While this has created some past stress for residents, LEDC wants to make sure the issue is considered before this opportunity is lost. One reason for opposition is some believe that their real-estate values will degrade as a result. The reality is, any negative value already has happened. It is pretty tough to hide those mines.

Mine clean-up will take 10 years. However, at the end of that time-frame, this location will be ready for local bio-mass to become an important part of our energy picture.

As a Superfund site, at least $200 million will be spent locally on the clean-up effort. The end result would be somewhere around 500 acres of developable land and additional job creation opportunities.

LEDC has asked the towns of Eden and Lowell to put this question to the voters during the March town meetings and will be holding informational meetings. We hope to see as many local residents as possible to ensure that everyone makes a fully informed decision when they cast their vote.

David Hallquist

Board President, Lamoille Economic Development Corporation

CEO, Vermont Electric Cooperative

Johnson, Vt.

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