Department of Environmental Conservation

Maisie Twohig, 10, drinks from a water fountain at Grafton Elementary School.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Department of Environmental Conservation will extend its testing program for PFAS chemicals in the drinking water at Vermont schools.

Andy Paciulli, who was Academy School principal when this photo was taken in February, points to one of the Brattleboro school's fixtures that was replaced after state tests discovered lead was leaching into the water.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

The results of a new report found lead contamination in each of the 16 Vermont schools tested.

The state is calling for more testing, however the report says there are not enough resources to test the water in every school building in Vermont. 

looking up at an Elmwood Avenue street sign
Ari Snider / VPR

The Environmental Protection Agency is testing the soil and air in a Burlington neighborhood for the presence of potentially hazardous chemicals.

Take a water sample in a sink.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

When perfluorinated chemicals were first found in southwestern Vermont, very few people in the state had even heard of the dangerous compound. But now scientists here, and across the country, are finding more and more of it in the environment.

Information sheets on PFAS sit on Grafton Elementary School Principal Liz Harty's desk. The school is one of two with levels of the chemicals above the state's safe drinking water standard.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two Vermont schools have levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) above Vermont’s safe drinking water standard.

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

Unintended releases from sewage treatment plants are happening all over the state, most recently in Burlington where a computer failure last week allowed 3 million gallons of partially disinfected wastewater to enter Lake Champlain.

A water fountain mounted on a wall.
gerenme / iStock

The Vermont Department of Health is adding three new polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, to its drinking water advisory, and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation says it will be testing the drinking water in 10 schools that have used cleaning supplies that contain the chemicals.

Auditor Doug Hoffer says it's hard to tell which Agriculture Agency programs are most effective at cutting phosphorus pollution from farms.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

Vermont’s state auditor says a taxpayer-funded program to reduce phosphorus pollution from farms needs better monitoring and data collection to show what measures are most effective.

Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport.
Nina Keck / VPR

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will continue testing drinking water near the Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport in Clarendon.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Rep. Peter Welch has signed on to a bipartisan letter demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency released a study on the health effects of the chemicals PFOA and PFOS.

 Aaron Shepard of the Northwest Vermont Solid Waste District empties food scrap buckets on the district's  residential collection route. While some haulers have begun to collect food scraps a  bill delays a requirement that every hauler offer the service.
Melody Bodette / VPR

Lawmakers have decided to put off a requirement to have solid waste haulers pick up food scraps from in front of residential homes in 2018.

silvrshootr / iStock

With more than 50 breweries in the state, Vermont beer makers have made the Green Mountain State a good home for beer lovers. But all those breweries use a lot of water, grain and energy. To help the state's brewers make beer more sustainably, state environmental officials are hosting their second-annual Brewery Day.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The company that reached a $20 million settlement with the state over PFOA contamination in one area of Bennington says it can't be linked to pollution in another, disputed, region of town.

Drop, Cover, and Hold On illustration via ShakeOut
ShakeOut

A week after a minor earthquake hit the Upper Valley, the Agency of Natural Resources is reminding Vermonters what to do the next time the earth shakes.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR file

The Environmental Protection Agency says it wants to better coordinate the nationwide response to soil and water contaminated with chemicals like PFOA.

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?

Bennington College professor David Bond, center, oversees work on the campus to investigate PFOA in groundwater.
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.

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