Extension of public comment period for border surveillance plans


Derby Line, Vermont (AP) —The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to resume a public comment period on plans to build a number of powerful watchtowers along the border between Vermont and Quebec, Canada. The Vermont General Assembly delegation said on Friday.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and US Senator Peter Welch said in a statement that they had heard from many Vermonters in the border area about the tower’s privacy concerns proposed by the US Customs and Border Protection.

“We also heard concerns about how these towers could adversely affect the natural landscape of the border area. We share these concerns,” the delegation said, fully affecting the potential impact. He added that it needs to be scrutinized.

They said the 60-day extension of the public comment period would allow them to hear from the Vermonters. The new deadline is June 17th.

The tower has been proposed in the northern region of Vermont, which has been used by smugglers moving south to the United States and north to Canada. The plan includes the Tower of Champlain, NY, and the towns of Highgate, Vermont, Franklin, Richford, Derby, Derby Line, and North Troy.

Earlier this month, Democrat Welch and Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan met with Derby Line officials who were proposed to build one of the towers.

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