Lack of Evidence From ClearSource

Letters / Feb. 21, 2008 12:00am EST

Lack of Evidence From ClearSource

Your front-page article of February 14, 2008, regarding ClearSource and the recent Act 250 Ruling by the District 3 Environmental Commission, omits a crucial point. The omitted point is that ClearSource failed to present evidence to support the operating conditions it wanted. Operating conditions like the number of vehicle trips per day at the bottling plant, hours of operation, number of trucks from Springs A and H, and gallons of sewage per day.

The Act 250 process is just like any other permit process. It is up to the applicant, in this case ClearSource, to state clearly what permissions it wants and to explain with evidence—typically studies and testimony—why those permissions are justified.

ClearSource failed to do that. It failed to support its case even though, on at least two occasions, the District Commission invited ClearSource to present additional information. I personally was surprised, as I observed the proceedings as one having party status, that the ClearSource permit application, and its evidence and filings, were not clearer and more informative or complete.

In the ruling of February 7, 2008, which includes a Permit and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the District Commission simply followed the law. It ruled on the basis of the evidence it had. The ruling carefully discusses nine prior permits for the bottling operation, and it discusses the testimony presented at a hearing and in filings. The Commission framed each condition in the permit in accord with that evidence in the record. The decision also points out instances where evidence was absent. If ClearSource is unhappy with the decision, it appears any fault lies at its own doorstep.

I encourage ClearSource hereafter to be clear about what it wants in a permit, and to work with neighbors and others in this community—within the Act 250 process—to develop the business operation it wants hand-in-hand with respect for the community and its natural resources.

Hugo Liepmann

Randolph Center

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