Gov. Shumlin Asks EPA To Help With PFOA Contamination

Mar 10, 2016

Gov. Peter Shumlin is joining the governors from New Hampshire and New York in asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put more resources into studying the effects of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, on human health.

The three governors also asked the EPA to provide additional financial assistance as the region confronts a growing crisis.

PFOA is a suspected carcinogen that has been found in private wells in North Bennington.

The chemical has also been found in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. and Merrimack, N.H.

The letter was sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Thursday.

"We are deeply concerned for the health and well-being of our communities grappling with this contaminant," the letter reads. "It is clear that PFOA contamination is not a state problem or a regional problem – it’s a national problem that requires federal guidelines and a consistent, science-based approach."

The three states are asking the EPA to review the best available science on PFOA, and also to have the federal agency support additional drinking water testing.

Over the last six years the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, and its companion Clean Water Revolving Fund, have been flat or declining, the governors say. They are asking for more federal help to address infrastructure improvements.

"It is unacceptable to us that any community should have to be concerned about the safety of their drinking water," the letter says. "Families in our states are worried about potentially tragic short and long-term health impacts, not to mention the potential loss in property values for homes in affected areas. It has been our priority to ensure that residents are being provided clean and safe water immediately, and that our infrastructure be modernized to eliminate these concerns in the future."