Department of Environmental Conservation

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two years ago, then Gov. Peter Shumlin signed Vermont's most comprehensive clean water law. Now, many of the and a lot of the regulations included in that law are coming into play.

This label is showing up more frequently alongside bins for recycling and trash.
Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont is now three years into its plan to get the whole state on board with universal recycling and composting.  But when you look at the number inside the triangle with arrows, do you know immediately what kind of plastic it is and how to recycle it? And are you occasionally still scrapping food scraps into the garbage?

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Recent test results showing almost a dozen new residences in Bennington with PFOA levels above the health standard prove that the chemical is still moving through the environment. The state is struggling to understand just how long it will be before any homeowner within the area of contamination can be assured that their water is safe.

On Tuesday, state employees learned more about the contamination found in their St. Johnsbury offices.

Michel Euler / AP

Saint-Gobain, the company that owned the North Bennington factory that's suspected of polluting water in the area, has stepped up its legal battle against the state of Vermont.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The president of Saint-Gobain says his company might not be responsible for the water contamination in Bennington County.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The passing of the federal Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act has been in the news because it authorizes millions of dollars to address the water crisis in Flint, Mich. But the legislation may also help pay for repairs to an historic Vermont dam.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has uncovered new sources of PFOA and PFOS, two hazardous chemicals that were used in manufacturing.

Courtesy / Lake Champlain International

State officials identified a potentially toxic bloom of cyanobacteria – also known as blue-green algae – in Mallets Bay earlier this week, after they had stopped monitoring the lake for the blooms for the season.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR file

The Agency of Natural Resources wants to preserve a rare plant community in Vernon known as the Black Gum Swamp.

Groundwater at sites in Colchester and Essex Junction has tested positive for the presence of potentially harmful perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), according to the Shumlin administration, though officials say they're not concerned about a health risk at this time.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Officials at Vermont Gas Systems are trying to figure out what to do about the route of the company’s planned pipeline through a Hinesburg park after a scientist working for opponents found inaccuracies in the company’s application for an environmental permit.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The estimated cost of bringing clean water to all of the Bennington County properties contaminated with PFOA has risen to more than $30 million.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

It could cost up to $13.7 million to extend the Bennington water system to the homes with private wells that are contaminated with PFOA.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

As the state zeroes in on the extent of the PFOA contamination in North Bennington, there are short and long term challenges to making sure people have clean water to drink.

New England lawmakers are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to issue an updated health advisory level for the chemical PFOA.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Sewage spilled onto Church Street in Burlington Thursday, and city officials did not report it to the state agency responsible for warning residents when a potentially harmful sewage spill happens. According to officials’ interpretation of state laws, there is no requirement that the public be informed about the flow of sewage, which was caused by a problem with sewage infrastructure on private property.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR file

The state will test another 150 private wells around Bennington for the chemical PFOA.

Gov. Shumlin announced late Thursday that some well samples collected last week show that the suspected carcinogen has contaminated additional private wells beyond the original testing area.

Toby Talbot / AP

Gov. Peter Shumlin has announced that the state will test additional manufacturing sites around Vermont for PFOA, a suspected carcinogen that's been found in North Bennington and Pownal.

Rutland is one of more than a dozen Vermont municipalities with a combined sewer system. When the city's water treatment system is overloaded, untreated sewage and runoff flows out of this pipe into a local creek.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

How soon should the public find out about a spill or overflow of untreated sewage from a treatment plant into a river or lake? That's the question Senate lawmakers are facing as they consider a bill to speed up that notification process.

If there were sewage flowing into a river right now, it might be tomorrow or the next day before state officials post the notice about the public health hazard online.

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