Group leaves noxious chemical at state government offices
News media reports from Montpelier, Vermont, say that a group of 15-20 adults, with some children, engaged in a protest over Vermont Yankee that has taken anti-nuclear protest tactics to a new level. The people involved must have granola for brains.
This past week the group came to the offices of the Vermont Public Service Board where they made their way to the 4th floor of the state office building. Once there they began chanting protest songs and reportedly ripped open plastic trash bags which contained styrofoam popcorn soaked in a noxious smelling chemical.
The Montpelier Fire Department was called and the building was evacuated. One employee was hospitalized with an asthma attack as a result of a reaction to the fumes. The chemical was later identified as deer urine. State employees told WPTZ TV news they were scared out of their wits by the chemical attack.
The Rutland Herald reports the protesters handed out flyers that said the group was named Green Mountain Earth First! and was rallying against the "unsafe conditions" at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power reactor and petitioning the Public Service Board to revoke Entergy's "Certificate of Public Good."
In the past protests against Vermont Yankee have included civil disobedience blocking the plant's main gate and a nude bicycle ride through the streets of Burlington, Vermont. This incident using animal waste is entirely different.
Montpelier Police Chief Anthony Facos said the protesters, if found, could be charged with unlawful mischief. Because a state agency office was vandalized, Vermont State Police are also involved in the investigation.
It shouldn't be too hard to find them. According to Green Mountain Earth First member Erik Gillard, who was dressed during the protest as Santa Claus, the protest was staged to bring attention to Entergy's commitment to the decommissioning fund for the plant. Gillard claims Entergy will fail to make payments into the fund. He issued a statement to Vermont news media calling attention to the group's role in the protest and the reason for it.
The Vermont Public Service Board is responsible for regulatory oversight of power plants in the state. However, it does not have the authority to revoke the plant's license which is what the protesters were demanding when they unleashed their stink attack. Since then the Board's offices have been closed to the public while a video monitoring system is installed at the site.
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