Bennington Reclassification-Extending Public Comment Period to April 2, 2021

Proposed Groundwater Reclassification in Bennington Area due to PFAS

A petition and draft decision to reclassify groundwater from potable for drinking (Class III) to non-potable for drinking (Class IV) in portions of the Towns of Bennington and Shaftsbury and the Village of North Bennington is being proposed to address the presence of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in groundwater. The main purpose for reclassifying the groundwater as non-potable is to protect human health and safety by providing a formal notification to landowners, well drillers, and permitting agencies that groundwater is or may be contaminated by PFAS. With the exception of adding one parcel in the northeastern part of the reclassification area, the proposed reclassification boundary matches that of the Corrective Action Area (CAA) identified in the Consent Order and Final Judgement between the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, which became effective on May 28, 2019 (Consent Order).

This Petition proposes to restrict the installation of new water supply wells for residences and businesses within 200 feet of municipal waterlines and to recommend minimum construction requirements for new water supply wells. The petition also specifies that monitoring of drinking water wells will continue to ensure that PFAS levels remains below the groundwater enforcement standard and the operation and maintenance of point-of-entry treatment systems will continue where PFAS concentrations are greater than the groundwater enforcement standard. Your property is adjacent to a property in the reclassification area.

In response to the petition, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has prepared a draft reclassification decision, which includes recommended minimum well construction requirements for new drinking water wells. This condition was included because the drilling of a new well can be the only practical source for drinking water within parts of the proposed non-potable groundwater area. The petition, draft decision, reclassification map, and fact sheet on the reclassification process are available at https://dec.vermont.gov/bennington-groundwater-reclassification and at the Bennington Town Offices, by appointment (442-1037), located at 205 South Street, Bennington VT 05201.

Please submit your comments by April 2, 2021. Also, if you have any questions about the reclassification, you can contact either John Schmeltzer or Richard Spiese of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.