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Gov. Shumlin Signs Bill to Protect Vermonters From Toxics
NORTH BENNINGTON - Just over three months after the discovery of elevated levels of the potentially harmful chemical PFOA in private wells in and around North Bennington and Bennington, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a law on Wednesday that will hold polluters responsible and help better control the use of potentially toxic chemicals in the state.
Also on Wednesday, the Governor updated on the State's response efforts to PFOA contamination in Bennington and North Bennington.
To read the full press release at the Governor's Office Newsroom, click here.
To view more photos and read the article published in the Bennington Banner, click here.
Holly Pelczynski - Bennington Banner. June 1, 2016.
Richard Spiese, left, shakes Gov. Peter Shumlin's hand. Spiese works for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and has been on the front lines of the PFOA response in North Bennington, visiting citizens' homes to collect drinking water samples and acting as a friendly public resource.
North Bennington & Bennington Update
Preliminary engineering studies received; public meeting being planned -- Feasibility studies to evaluate costs and approaches for extending the municipal water systems for the Town of Bennington and the Village of North Bennington have been received by the State. Both reports are available online on the DEC PFOA webpage for impacted communities. Scroll down to "Municipal Water System Extension Studies."
Please note that both studies are preliminary estimates, and not final engineering designs. The total estimated costs for Bennington and North Bennington municipal water system extensions are $13.7 million and $3.2 million, respectively. The Town of Bennington water system serves most of the impacted homes in the area of concern surrounding the former Chemfab facility.
DEC understands the community has plenty of questions surrounding these studies and what they mean for next steps. A public meeting is being planned for 2-3 weeks from now to address common questions and concerns, and will be announced next week. The DEC also continues to work out responses to many questions through talks with Saint-Gobain, town managers, and engineers.
Status update on sampling efforts and point-of-entry treatment system results -- The DEC continued sample collection this week with an additional 25 private wells sampled. These locations will continue to help us understand the full scope of the PFOA contamination problem in this area.
The first set of point-of-entry-treatment (POET) system testing results were received and mailed out to residences over the past few weeks. More results are expected soon. The DEC continues to recommend the use of bottled water until POET sampling results show the treatment systems are effectively removing PFOA.
Bottled water can be picked-up from D's Market & Deli on 1404 East Road in Bennington. If PFOA was detected in your well in any concentration level, DEC contractor W.B. Mason should be delivering bottled water to your home by now. If this isn't happening, please contact W.B. Mason directly at 508-436-8869.
Reminder! Sign-up for well testing online -- Residences with private wells on Harwood Hill Road, Settlers Road, Springhill Road, Town Line Road, and East Road are encouraged to sign-up online to schedule drinking water sample collection next week. Any residence located within the area of of interest that has not yet had a private well sample collected should also sign-up.
PFOA Document Library Updated -- A new public file directory has been launched from the DEC PFOA webpage. This directory will hold all historic documents related to the Chemfab facility in North Bennington, responses to public records requests, and other public documents as needed. Scroll down to the bottom-right of the page and click on the "Documents" icon.
Community Meeting Announced for Monday June 13th --
A public meeting will be held on Monday, June 13th at 6:00pm at the Pownal Elementary School to discuss updates and address questions on the PFOA response effort in Pownal. Please join us and alert your neighbors who may be interested in attending.
Well sampling in North Pownal to continue -- DEC is attempting to sample private drinking water wells located south of Cedar Hill Road, and north of North Pownal Road, Deer Hill Road, and Murphy Lane. Letters will be sent to homes in these areas to alert homeowners that they are eligible to have their water supply tested by DEC at no cost. If you live in this area and have not had your well sampled, please sign-up online to arrange a sample date or call Trish Coppolino at (802) 249-5822.