PFOA Contamination Extends To Pownal

Mar 29, 2016

The discovery of PFOA in Pownal has opened up a whole new set of challenges for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Environmental officials announced last week that a second location in Pownal tested positive for the contaminant PFOA.

At the first site in North Bennington the state says it's pretty apparent that the former Chemfab plant was the source of the contamination.

But there could be multiple sources of the contamination around Pownal.

The state announced last week that a public drinking supply near the former Warren Wire Company in Pownal showed slightly elevated levels of PFOA, a suspected carcinogen that was used in the wire coating.

At a public meeting in Pownal Monday, people talked about other manufacturing facilities in town, as well as a few town landfills where the wire manufacturers might have dumped their waste.

Trish Coppolino is the hazardous waste project manager in Pownal, and she says over the next few weeks she'll be searching for other potential sources of the PFOA contamination.

The former Warren Wire plant in Pownal.
Credit Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

"We've certainly received a lot of information from residents and past employees on where waste may have gone historically, and where the facilities may have been,"  Coppolino says. "We're going to follow up on that information and potentially there is going to be other areas that we're start expanding out into because we'll get additional information."

Coppolino says the state will test private wells near the Warren Wire facility over the next few days, and then following up on leads on other waste sites around Pownal.