September 2017
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Resampling of Wells with Low Levels of PFOA
 As proposed in the sampling plan, the State of Vermont, through the state's contractor, and CT Male, contractor for Saint-Gobain, will begin to resample drinking water wells at homes with less than the State's drinking water standard of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA/PFOS within the next three weeks.   Homes that have PFOA/PFOS at levels of 20 ppt or above have a point-of-entry treatment (POET) system installed and follow the sampling schedule outline in the POET Operation and Maintenance Plan and are not part of this resampling event.  This re-sampling will continue into mid-October, and most home owners who were sampled as part of this event should have the results of this sampling by mid-November.

This is the fifth sampling event for most homes and will assist in helping the state to ensure that the water coming into these homes continues to be below the State's drinking water standard.  It should also continue to assist the state in understanding the variation of PFOA in groundwater under northern Bennington.  For any sampling results that show a home's drinking water results to be above the State's drinking water standard, the State will immediately ensure that Saint-Gobain provide bottled drinking water and install a POET on the house's drinking water.  If the home is located along an area that has municipal water, connecting to the municipal system will be evaluated.

Site Investigation Activities
In mid-August, contractors for Saint-Gobain began investigation activities as required in the State of Vermont Consent Order with Saint-Gobain.  These activities are expected to continue through the month of October.  This additional investigation is designed to collect data, including soil and groundwater samples, that will provide insight about the degree and extent of PFOA and confirm the source(s) of PFOA, particularly for the area east of the railroad tracks.  Investigation activities to collect this data include advancing approximately 75 area-wide shallow and deep soil borings, installing monitoring wells in selected deep borings, and installing four bedrock wells near the landfill.   To evaluate background conditions, soil boring were advanced and soil samples collected at four locations outside the Bennington/North Bennington area.  Most of the area-wide shallow boring work has been completed.  A copy of the approved work plan, including maps showing the approximately locations of soil boring and monitoring wells, for the site investigation activities along with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation approval letter can be found online.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Richard Spiese or John Schmeltzer of the Vermont Department of Conservation at 802 828-1138.

In April and May 2017, US Environmental Protection Agency, at the request of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, directed their contractor to perform site investigation activities at the Bennington Landfill. Activities include the advancement of eight soil borings, two of which were installed as monitoring wells, the collection of soil samples within the soil borings, and the collection of groundwater samples from five selected monitoring wells.  The report summarizing the work completed at the landfill by EPA's contractor can be found online. 

PublicNoticePublic Notice about the Proposed Use of Vermont Route 279 Right-of-Way near Austin Hill Road to dispose of excess soil associated with the corrective action (waterline extension) 

The North Bennington and Bennington public water systems, in consultation with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VT ANR), have requested that the Vermont Route 279 right-of-way near Austin Hill Road be used to receive excess trench soils (spoils) that will be generated during the expansion of the public water systems in the Town of Bennington and adjacent Village of North Bennington.   The public water systems are being expanded primarily to connect approximately 200 homes or businesses affected by the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at or above 20 ppt in private drinking wells where it is technically feasible and cost effective. The spoils from the upcoming public water system expansion are presumed to contain PFOA.  A copy of the public notice and the environmental assessment for this proposed action can be found online and at the Bennington Town Offices, located at 205 South Street.  
A public meeting is scheduled for 6:30 PM on September 26, 2017 at the Bennington Firehouse (2nd floor) located at 130 River Street, Bennington VT. It will also be shown on CAT-TV (public access). The purpose of the public meeting is to provide a brief presentation about the proposed action as described in the Environmental Assessment and to provide an opportunity for the public to provide written or verbal comments.  Comments may be presented verbally at the public meeting, or may be submitted in writing until October 13, 2017.

The comment period on the proposed consent order between the State of Vermont and Saint-Gobain closed on August 25.  The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) received six comments that focused on the concerns individuals had about not receiving municipal water and the impacts of the proposed settlement on them personally.  ANR replied to each commenter individually and provided a response to the concerns that were identified. 
ANR had the choice to either reject the consent order and renegotiate with Saint-Gobain or ask the court to enter the consent order.  While ANR appreciates all the concerns raised by commenters, it determined that extending a permanent drinking water solution to over 200 persons was in the best interest of the State and ANR asked that the Bennington Superior Court formally enter the consent order.  The State continues to await a final order from the Court.

ResourcesInformation Resources Available
For general PFOA questions and concerns:
Call 802-828-1138.
Visit: Vermont DEC PFOA Response Page

For questions about potential health effects of PFOA:
Call the Vermont Department of Health toll-free at 800-439-8550.
You may also reply to this e-mail with general questions.