State Press Release: Gov. Shumlin Updates No. Benn Residents on PFOA Contamination Status (3/16/16)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2016

Gov. Shumlin Updates North Bennington Residents on PFOA Contamination Affecting Some Private Wells

BENNINGTON – Gov. Peter Shumlin this evening met with North Bennington-area residents concerned about the contamination of a number of private wells by a potentially harmful chemical known as PFOA. The public water source has been tested multiple times in the last month and is not impacted.

At a community meeting at Bennington College, Gov. Shumlin and his team of environmental and health officials shared the results that have come back from the initial testing of roughly 190 private wells in a 1.5 mile radius around the former Chemfab plant. Of the 134 results received thus far:

  • 94 private wells showed PFOA levels above the Health Department’s acceptable level of 20 parts per trillion (ppt). Those results ranged from 32ppt to 2,730ppt.
  • 7 samples had detections below 20ppt.
  • 32 samples did not detect PFOA.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has mapped the results and determined that additional testing should be conducted in three areas outside of the initial 1.5 mile radius, representing up to 100 additional wells. Residents in those areas will be notified, water samples will be collected, and residents will be provided bottled water while test results are pending. Results from these additional test are expected in about two weeks.

“It is good news that we have been able to identify a number of areas where we feel confident the contamination has not spread,” Gov. Shumlin said. “We’re obviously concerned about a few areas where we believe the contamination might extend beyond the original 1.5 mile radius. We’ll immediately notify residents, get them on bottled water, and conduct tests. We are working out of an abundance of caution when it comes to identifying additional wells to test.”

The Governor also highlighted that soil sampling began today around the former Chemfab facility and will include samples at impacted residences. The sampling plan will include more than 100 samples at over 25 locations. Results will be available in the coming weeks.

At the meeting, DEC, the Department of Health, and Agency of Agriculture also provided an update to residents on the potential impacts of PFOA on agricultural products. Through the soil sampling that began today, the nature and extent of the contamination will be determined before taking the step to test local agricultural products. This approach allows the State to identify the impacted areas and provide assistance to residents within those areas. Health officials noted that the immediate concern is determining those with impacted drinking water, as that is the most likely source of long-term exposure to PFOA. A factsheet provided to residents is attached.

DEC continues to go door to door to explain the results, answer questions, and coordinate installation of water treatment systems for residents whose wells have tested positive for PFOA contamination. The Health Department is also reaching out by phone to residents who have just received test results that show their well is contaminated with PFOA.

Bottled water remains available at the North Bennington Village Variety Store, located at 9 Route 67 West, and is being delivered to impacted homes.  Two water tanks from which residents can draw water are located in the parking lot across from the former Chemfab plant located at the intersection of Water Street and Route 67a.

An information center has been set up at the Vermont Department of Health offices located at 324 Main Street and will be open from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday. Officials from DEC and Health will be on hand to answer follow up questions from residents.

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Frequently Asked Questions about PFOA and Agricultural Products (March 16, 2016)

asdfafFrequently Asked Questions about PFOA and Agricultural Products
March 16, 2016

 

The Department of Environmental Conservation is working with other state agencies to determine the nature and extent of PFOA contamination before taking the step to test local agricultural products.

The Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has provided the following information about the possible impacts to agricultural products based on the scientific literature available.

What are potential impacts to corn or hay crops grown on soils with elevated levels of PFOA?

Studies show that corn and hay have the ability to take up PFOA and can accumulate this contaminant to levels many times higher than the soil concentration, even when PFOA soil concentrations are low. Generally the higher the concentration of PFOA in the soil, the higher the concentration could be in the plants.

What are potential impacts to milk from a cow ingesting feed and water containing PFOA?

The scientific literature suggests that if lactating cows and sheep are switched to clean feed and water sources, within five days the level of PFOA in their milk should be reduced.

What are potential impacts to meat from a dairy animal that has consumed PFOA contaminated feed or water?

The scientific literature suggests that cattle and sheep should be given clean feed and water for at least 21 days prior to slaughter to minimize exposure to PFOA.

Is it OK to eat vegetables from my garden?

While no direct testing of garden soils or vegetables has been done yet, scientific studies show that PFOA uptake differs among types of produce. While leaves and stems of most plants apparently accumulate PFOA from soil they are grown in, the storage compartments (grain, fruit, tubers) show much lower PFOA levels – the higher the soil concentration of PFOA, the higher the concentration of PFOA in the plants.

Root and leafy vegetables also tend to adhere soil to the surface of the produce. If PFOA is found in soil, thoroughly washing root and leafy green vegetables with bottled water will further reduce exposure to PFOA from growing produce in soil contaminated with PFOA and/or watering produce gardens with PFOA contaminated water. One could also peel root vegetables prior to consumption.

Are the eggs from my home chicken flock OK to eat?

Chickens will take up PFOA from contaminated feed, water and ingested soil. PFOA may stay in the body of chickens for more than 30 days, even after being switched to a PFOA-free diet and environs. PFOA will transfer to eggs to a level that is proportional to their exposure, primarily in the yolk of contaminated eggs. Chickens should be given clean feed, water and environs for 30 days to minimize exposure to PFOA in eggs.

Can I have my soil and agricultural products tested?

The Department of Environmental Conservation is working with other state agencies to determine the nature and extent of the contamination before taking the step to test local agricultural products. This approach allows the State to identify the impacted areas and provide assistance to residents within those areas. The Agency of Agriculture is developing a plan for sampling agricultural commodities within the impacted areas.

What about maple syrup?

No information is available in the scientific literature regarding uptake of PFOA in maple trees. The Vermont Agriculture and Environmental Laboratory (VAEL) is developing a method to test for PFOA in maple syrup and, potentially, sap. Once the nature and extent of contamination is determined, the Agency of Agriculture will develop a sampling plan to test maple sugaring operations within the impacted areas.

Contaminated water and livestock –

If your groundwater source used to water livestock is contaminated with PFOA, you need to obtain a source of clean water:

  1. Fill a livestock tank or similar food grade container with the clean water and use that as your source for livestock – OR –
  2. If your kitchen sink water has a PFOA-removing filter on it, you may attach a hose to that water source and use that for livestock -OR –
  3. Check your yellow pages for local bulk water delivery companies that supply clean water.

If you have further questions about PFOA and agricultural products, contact:

Anne Macmillan, MS, Toxicologist
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
116 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620
TEL      802.828.3479
FAX      802.828.1410

 

www.vermontagriculture.com

Update: New Map of Tested and Detection Site (as of 3/15/16 @ 4PM)

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Updated PFOA Map of tested and detection sites as of March 15, 2016 at 4PM. Please note an updated legend in the bottom right of the photograph.

REMINDER: The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and the Vermont Department of Health will be available for question, comments and concerns in the PFOA Information Center located in the Bennington Department of Health at 324 Main Street, Bennington.

In addition, there is a community meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, 6PM at Bennington College (Tishman Lecture Hall).

 

PFOA - March 15, 2016 - 4PM

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State Press Release: No. Bennington Water Update – New Test Results (Round 2) – March 15, 2016

Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2016

 

Gov. Shumlin Provides Update on North Bennington Situation

MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin today provided the following update on the situation in North Bennington. The location of the community meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been moved. The meeting will be held at 6pm, Wednesday, March 16 in the Tishman Lecture Hall at Bennington College, 1 College Drive, Bennington.

Testing Results – The second round of well sample results were received late yesterday. The results mostly represent samples collected outside of the immediate proximity of the Chemfab plant. Of the 67 results received from the March expanded sampling within the 1.5 mile radius, 52 private wells showed PFOA levels above the Health Department’s acceptable level of 20ppt. Those results above the standard range from 38ppt to 2,730ppt. Twelve samples did not detect PFOA, 3 samples had detections below 20ppt, and 52 were greater than 20ppt. About 185 wells have been sampled in the 1.5 mile radius around the plant. As more results come in, more will be known about the extent of the contamination of private wells. Additional testing of the North Bennington public water system, including samples from the elementary school, have confirmed no PFOA contamination.

Soil Sampling – Soil sampling of the impacted area will begin tomorrow at the former Chemfab facility and will include samples at impacted residences. The sampling plan will include more than 100 samples at over 25 locations.  Results will be available in the coming weeks.

Notifying Affected Residents – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) began notifying residents of test results on Saturday, going door to door to explain the results, answer questions, and coordinate installation of water treatment systems. A community meeting to review results and answer questions will be held at 6pm, Wednesday, March 16 in the Tishman Lecture Hall at Bennington College, 1 College Drive, Bennington. Note: The location for the meeting has changed.  The Health Department is also reaching out by phone to residents who have just received test results that show their well is contaminated with PFOA.

Bottled Water & Treatment Systems – Bottled water remains available at the North Bennington Village Variety Store, located at 9 Route 67 West, and is being delivered to impacted homes.  Two water tanks from which residents can draw water are located in the parking lot across from the former Chemfab plant located at the intersection of Water Street and Route 67a.  Point of Entry Treatment systems are being offered to impacted residents.

Information Center – An information center has been set up at the Vermont Department of Health offices located at 324 Main Street and will be open from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday next week. Officials from DEC and Health will be on hand to answer follow up questions from residents.

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PFOA Community Meeting UPDATE – Wed, March 16, 6PM **Location Change**

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Please note that there will be a community meeting at 6pm, Wednesday, March 16 at BENNINGTON COLLEGE, Tishman Lecture Hall (campus map).

 

Alyssa B. Schuren
Commissioner
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
One National Life Drive – Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3520
802-828-1556
http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/dec.htm

State Opens PFOA Information Center at DOH-Bennington for Week of March 14th.

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Information Center – An information center has been set up at the Vermont Department of Health offices located at 324 Main Street. Officials from DEC and Health will be on hand to answer follow up questions from residents. The Information Center will be open from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday next week.

Please continue to check our website for regular updates:  http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/PFOA.htm, or, for updates and information from the Vermont Department of Health, please visit their website: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/pfoa.aspx.    If you have any questions, please call (802) 828-1038.

 

Alyssa B. Schuren
Commissioner
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
One National Life Drive – Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3520
802-828-1556
http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/dec.htm

VT-ANR: First Round of Test Results for Bennington / No. Bennington Wells

VANRMarch 12, 2016

Dear interested parties,

Below is an updated on the North Bennington/Bennington situation. Please note that there will be a community meeting at 6pm, Wednesday, March 16 at the Village School of North Bennington, 9 School Street, North Bennington.

Testing Results – The first round of March well sample results were received late yesterday. The results mostly represent samples collected closer to the former Chemfab plant.  Of the 34 results received, 29 showed PFOA levels ranging from 38 to 2,270 parts per trillion (ppt). The Vermont Department of Health has determined 20 ppt to be an acceptable level of PFOA in drinking water. About 185 wells have been sampled on the 1.5 mile radius. As more results come in, more will be known about the extent of the contamination of private wells.

Notifying Affected Residents – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) began notifying residents of test results this morning, going door to door to explain the results, answer questions, and coordinate installation of water treatment systems. A community meeting to review results and answer questions will be held at 6pm, Wednesday, March 16 at the Village School of North Bennington, 9 School Street, North Bennington.

Bottled Water & Treatment Systems:  Bottled water remains available at the North Bennington Village Variety Store, located at 9 Route 67 West, and is being delivered to impacted homes.  Two water tanks from which residents can draw water are located in the parking lot across from the former Chemfab plant located at the intersection of Water Street and Route 67a.  Point of Entry Treatment systems are being offered to impacted residents.  Conversations with municipal officials and Saint-Gobain about extending the municipal water line are ongoing.

Information Center – An information center has been set up at the Vermont Department of Health offices located at 324 Main Street and will be open this weekend from 9am-6pm. Officials from DEC and Health will be on hand to answer follow up questions from residents. The Information Center will be open from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday next week.

Surface Waters & Sediment Sampled – DEC scientists have conducted sampling for PFOA in rivers, lakes and streams in the North Bennington and Bennington area, including the Walloomsac River, Paran Creek and Lake Paran. The Bennington College Campus Pond, Paran Creen onsite pond, and Hamon Road Pond were also included in the sampling.  All waters are within the 1.5 mile radius of the former Chemfab facility and where private wells tested positive for chemical PFOA.  Results are expected back within two to three weeks, a delay which reflects the fact that the laboratories qualified to conduct this work are at full capacity addressing tests from water wells in North Bennington, and related contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York.  Follow up sampling to determine levels of PFOA in fish is planned in the coming weeks, in partnership with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Please continue to check our website for regular updates:  http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/PFOA.htm, or, for updates and information from the Vermont Department of Health, please visit their website: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/pfoa.aspx.    If you have any questions, please call (802) 828-1038.

 

Alyssa B. Schuren
Commissioner
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
One National Life Drive – Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3520
802-828-1556
http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/dec.htm

Vermont DEC Activates Info Line: 802-828-1038

The Vermont Deparment of Environmental Conservation has activated a new telephone line to assist residents who have been impacted by contaminated water. Individuals can call (802) 828-1038 with any questions, comments or concerns they might have.

Water Update: Bennington Water System PFOA 2013 Test Results – Non-detectable

Bennington Water Treatment Plant
Woodford

PFOA-BENNINGTON-WOODFORD_WTP-2013

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Bennington Water System
Morgan Spring

PFOA-BENNINGTON-MORGAN_SPRING-2013

Click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

State Health Alert Notification for Health Care Providers – Mar 3, 2016

Health Advisory
March 3, 2016

TO: Health care providers in the Bennington and Rutland areas
FROM: Sarah Vose, PhD, State Toxicologist
RE: PFOA Contamination in North Bennington

– UPDATED –
This replaces information provided in 2/26 and 2/29 health advisories.

We have reviewed further studies on this emerging contaminant, consulted with area physicians and national experts, and refined our recommendations. PFOA, perfluorooctanoic acid or C8, has been found in private drinking water wells in the North Bennington area. PFOA is one of many perfluoroalkyl chemicals that are used in products including non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpets, water-resistant clothing, paper and cardboard food packaging, and fire-fighting foam.
PFOA levels in serum are related to increased serum lipid levels, increased uric acid levels, and liver enzymes. These changes may or may not be biologically relevant. Providers may want to consider a liver panel, lipid panel and a uric acid analysis for patients who have drinking water contaminated with PFOA.

Providers should be aware that additional health outcomes are reported in scientific studies of PFOA. These studies do not prove causality of specific health effects due to PFOA exposure, and some outcomes may not be biologically relevant. We do not recommend specific screenings for these health outcomes unless they are warranted based on symptoms.

Studies have correlated PFOA levels in serum with:

  • Cardiovascular effects: high blood pressure
  • Developmental effects: pregnancy-induced hypertension and low birth weight
  • Immune effects: decreased antibody titer following vaccination, ulcerative colitis
  • Thyroid disease
  • Kidney and testicular cancer

For people who have drinking water contaminated or potentially contaminated with PFOA, the most important action to take now is to stop exposure by using only bottled water or water from a known safe source for drinking, preparing food, cooking and brushing teeth.

The Vermont Department of Health is committed to testing people’s blood for PFOA if their water is contaminated. We are working to identify a lab that can perform this testing at no cost to the patients. As soon as we have identified a lab, and have a protocol for collecting blood, we will send an update. The half-life of PFOA is two to four years, so there is no need to take blood samples before people stop drinking water containing PFOA.

You have received this message based upon the information contained within our emergency notification data base.
If you have a different or additional e-mail address or fax number that you would like us to use please contact your
Health Alert Network (HAN) Coordinator at: vthan@vermont.gov or Lee.Dorf@vermont,gov.

PFOA is present in the blood of most Americans, and is documented in the NHANES survey. Background in the US is based on NHANES data: http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/PFOA_FactSheet.html

The blood test for PFOA is unlikely to provide health care providers with specific treatment protocols for affected individuals. The blood test for PFOA will only tell people if they have a higher level of PFOA in their blood than what is considered background for the U.S. If PFOA is present in drinking water, and people have been drinking it, they are likely to have higher PFOA in their blood than the background level.

The Vermont Department of Health has a website where you can find additional information and status updates:
http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/pfoa.aspx

For detailed summaries of the toxicology and epidemiology studies on PFOA and other perfluoroalkyl chemicals, check the ATSDR Toxicological Profile: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp200.pdf

For information on exposure and health studies conducted on a large population, visit the C8 studies:
http://www.c8sciencepanel.org/