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
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
One National Life Drive – Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3520