Water Quality

The Vermont Clean Water Act will hold more than 1,000 properties across the state to stricter stormwater standards, but environmental advocates say the Scott administration is trying to undermine some key provisions.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

Next month, Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce will unveil a much-anticipated legislative report that will tell lawmakers how to raise the $1.3 billion needed to clean up Lake Champlain and other polluted waterways. And Governor-elect Phil Scott may soon find himself at odds with Democrats — and environmental advocates — over how to come up with the money.

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.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

Under new federal legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency will work to deepen its understanding of 10 chemicals in commercial use. Topping that list is 1,4-dioxane, which has also been found in drinking water in a Hanover, New Hampshire, neighborhood. 

Plastic today is everywhere: in our bottles and cell phones, our grocery bags, and our trash. Some plastic garbage is so small, it's impossible to see with the naked eye: tiny microbeads, which have been banned from some products because of their environmental impact. WNPR met up with a group of scientists who are looking for them, in an effort to determine how many are in the water off Connecticut's coast.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

As residents of a Hanover, New Hampshire neighborhood grapple with a contamination caused by Dartmouth College, the school is providing more information about the health hazards of the chemical released.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

A Hanover family whose drinking water was contaminated by a Dartmouth College hazardous waste burial site is now threatening to sue. The Higgins family is giving the college 90 days to relocate them.

Next year, lawmakers will wrestle with one of the biggest financial challenges in state history, when they have to decide how to raise the estimated $1.3 billion needed to improve water quality across Vermont.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

A lack of summer rains has some municipal water system operators worried about their systems running dry. And a few towns are taking steps to lower consumption until we get more rain.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

A third private property in a Hanover neighborhood has tested positive for a chemical released from a former Dartmouth hazardous waste burial site.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Talks with the company that contaminated more than 250 private wells in Bennington have broken down. And state officials say they're ready to introduce legislation in Montpelier to address the water crisis in southwestern Vermont.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The state now says it will pay for the engineering plans to extend municipal waterlines to homes in Bennington contaminated with PFOA.

Environmental Working Group

The carcinogen often referred to as the "Erin Brockovich chemical" is present in about two-thirds of the drinking water across the country, according to water testing data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A state geologist is gathering data to help build a 3-D map of the ground underneath Bennington to try understand how the chemical PFOA may be moving through groundwater.

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

Heavy rain Saturday night led to three sewage overflows in Rutland and one in Burlington in the early hours of Sunday morning.

In the last couple years, millions of people across the country have learned their drinking water contains high levels of the contaminants known as perfluorichemicals. These are used to make nonstick things like Teflon and pizza boxes.  And for those with illnesses that are linked to the contaminant, that knowledge can be helpful -- and frustrating.

Marcin Szczepanski

A Windham County research institute will get $830,000, as part of a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to continue to explore ways to turn human urine into fertilizer.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

A contamination running off a former burial plot for a Dartmouth research facility's hazardous waste has reached a local stream.

This week the U.S. Department of Agriculture is announcing an infrastructure project that will award new water and wastewater funding to communities across the state.

A Washington Superior Court Judge has thrown out a law suit that challenged the state's interim safety standard for the chemical PFOA.

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