December 22, 2017

On December 11, Governor Scott, Attorney General Donovan, Legislators representing Bennington and North Bennington, and community leaders connected the first home affected by perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) contamination to the newly constructed waterline extension. Read more about this significant milestone here .

Bennington Waterline Status Update:  The four contracts that comprise the Town of Bennington’s waterline construction project are now in winter shutdown, with the exception of a small amount of service line work. A total of 10 homes are anticipated to be served by municipal water this year. Below is a final status update for each of the construction contracts for this year:

  • Contract 1, North Bennington Road/Murphy Road/Edith Road/Austin Hill Road – 20% of the contract is complete.
  • Contract 2, Silk Road/Bridge Street/Cardinal Lane – 12% of the contract is complete.
  •  Contract 3, Fairview Street/Vail Road/Eaton Road/Red Pine Road/Bard Road – 63% of the contract is complete.
  • Contract 4, Walloomsac Road/Gypsy Lane/Hill Shadow Farm Road/Pippin Knoll/Jennings Drive – 18% of the contract is complete.

North Bennington Waterline Status Update: The construction contract for the North Bennington waterline construction project is expected to enter a winter shutdown at the end of the first week of January. 60% of the water main construction has been completed and it is anticipated all service connections will occur next construction season.

To see more detailed construction updates for December, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation's PFOA Contamination Response Page .
On December 15, 2017, Saint-Gobain’s consultant, Barr Engineering, submitted the draft site investigation report . This submittal met the deadline specified in the legal agreement between the state and Saint-Gobain.
This report is a detailed evaluation of soil and groundwater conditions around the entire Bennington area north of Route 9, North Bennington, and into Shaftsbury. The report was required in the Consent Order. Due to problems with drilling bedrock wells at the Bennington Landfill, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Saint-Gobain agreed to revise the submittal deadline for the final report from February 15, 2018 to  March  15, 2018.

The report states that the investigation attempts to meet the following site-specific objectives:
  •  assess hydrogeologic conditions;
  • evaluate relationships and trends in PFAS distribution, specifically in relation to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS);
  • evaluate potential impacts from the former Bennington Landfill;
  • identify some of the other potential sources of PFAS within the investigation area and measure background levels of PFAS present in soil and groundwater within the Corrective Action Areas (CAAs); and
  • assess the measured distribution of PFAS concentrations in soil and groundwater against the predicted distribution based upon modeling of air emissions from the former Chemfab facility.
Although the DEC has drawn no conclusions from the report yet, the general conclusions Barr Engineering has drawn from the report are as follows:
  •  hydrogeoloic conditions are similar to those used in the conceptual site model (CSM);
  • relationships and trends in current PFAS concentrations in CAAII soils and groundwater are not indicative of historical impacts from the former Chemfab facilities; and
  • the measured soil concentrations across the investigation area are generally consistent with background concentrations and may also be indicative of localized sources of PFAS.

The DEC has just begun its review of the report and will continue a detailed review of the report up to the time the final report is submitted. Once the DEC has completed its review of the report, the DEC will prepare a summary document to present to the community. This document is expected to be completed by late February or early March of 2018.
The DEC will hold a community meeting on January 9, 2018. This briefing will offer an update on the westside waterline construction and provide more information regarding the eastside site investigation.

The community meeting will be broken into two parts. From 5:00—6:30 PM in the Church Barn (Old First Church), there will be a discussion on the eastside site investigation activities and time for Q&A. From 7:00–8:00 PM at Bennington College (Tishman Hall), there will be a discussion focused on westside waterline construction updates with a short overview of the eastside investigation. 

January 9 Community Meeting:
  • 5:00–6:30 PM – Church Barn (Old First Church; 1 Monument Cir, Bennington)– Focus: Eastside investigation overview
  • 7:00-8:00 PM – Bennington College (Tishman Hall) – Focus: Westside waterline construction updates
  • Visit the PFOA Contamination Response Page
  • Contact Elle O'Casey at to get in touch with the DEC staff or contractors working on this project.

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Department of Environmental Conservation
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
1 National Life Drive, Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3520