Vermont scuttles plan to sink old ferry into Lake Champlain

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(WWLP/AP) — The state of Vermont and the Lake Champlain Transportation Company are dropping plans to sink a century-old Adirondack ferry in Lake Champlain, where it could have been used as an underwater scuba diving destination.

The Vermont Division of Historic Preservation and the ferry company are now in the process of withdrawing the permit that had been issued for the project. Rather than being scuttled, the now-retired ferry Adirondack, which was constructed in 1913, will be scrapped.

“This decision was made because of the increasing public opposition to the proposal and the additional costs and possible time delay of the project related to the appeal of the Lake Encroachment permit,” Vermont Historic Preservation Officer Laura Trieschmann said in an email.

Environmental organizations objected to the decision. The Lake Champlain Committee, the Conservation Law Foundation and the Vermont Natural Resources Council argued that there wasn’t enough information available about the possible effects on the lake, wildlife and navigation channels.

In March, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation gave the Lake Champlain Transportation Company a permit to sink the ship in June of next year. The ferry company had planned to sink the ferry after a thorough cleaning stripped away all oil, grease, and other potential pollutants. It would have become part of an underwater historic preserve in Lake Champlain that includes nine other vessels.

The Adirondack first began sailing on Lake Champlain in 1954, traveling between Burlington and Port Kent, New York.

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