Water Quality

Howard Weiss-TIsman / VPR

Carol Moore has worked and lived around Bennington for about 30 years. She was around when the Chemfab plant in North Bennington was operating. And she's always wondered about the emissions she used to see and smell, and about the stories she heard of the chemicals that were used there.

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The suspected carcinogen PFOA has now been found in the public water supply in Pownal. Gov. Shumlin today said test results show contamination slightly above the state advisory level.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Department of Health says it will be at least a few weeks before North Bennington residents will be able to do blood testing for the suspected carcinogen PFOA.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Department of Environmental Conservation has released documents on the Chemfab factory in North Bennington which show a long history of neighbor complaints and pressure from environmental regulators.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday that the state is going to extend the range of water testing as results continue to come in showing widespread contamination around the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington.

Courtesy of Hansi Wang / NPR

People in North Bennington are set to get an update Wednesday night on the widening water contamination problem in their village. 

State test results came out Tuesday afternoon showing that 52 out of 67 private wells contained unsafe levels of a chemical known as PFOA. Results from the approximately 183 different water supplies tested will continue to come in over the course of the next week. 

Nina Keck / VPR

Private wells in North Bennington continue to be tested for the potentially harmful chemical PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, a contaminant now believed to have originated with the closed Chemfab manufacturing plant.

But state environmental officials are also looking at other sites where the chemical may turn up, including places that regularly use fire fighting foam.

State officials released new test results Tuesday that show more widespread chemical contamination in private wells in North Bennington.

David Zalubowski / AP

A former manufacturing plant in North Bennington that's now blamed for chemical contamination of ground water once made fabrics used globally – and beyond.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The first round of water test results from North Bennington are in and they show widespread contamination among homes near the former Chemfab factory.

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.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The state is conducting water tests on private wells in North Bennington following the discovery of the suspected carcinogen PFOA in five private wells. Now Vermont officials are setting their sights beyond North Bennington to see if the contaminant shows up in other water sources.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Bennington College has been awarded an $89,810 National Science Foundation Rapid Response grant to offer a new course and conduct original research on PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York and North Bennington, Vermont.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

Gov. Peter Shumlin and top state environmental and health officials visited North Bennington Tuesday to visit with residents and property owners affected by the discovery of a potentially dangerous chemical in private wells in the community.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont officials have been testing over a hundred wells in North Bennington and Bennington for the potentially hazardous chemical PFOA - after the substance was found in private wells near a former factory that used the chemical. We're looking at the latest on the contamination, the state's response, and the plan going forward.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

People who lived near the Chemfab plant in North Bennington complained for years that the emissions were making them sick. There were 32 citizen complaints between 1974 and 2000, according to documents obtained by VPR.

The Department of Environmental Conservation also brought two enforcement actions against the company in the mid 1970s.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich and the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg announced Friday they are expanding their investigation into well water contamination to include North Bennington.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

State officials are testing private wells in North Bennington for PFOA, a suspected carcinogen. And the only way to find those wells to test is by going door-to-door.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Monday that the state will be testing between 80 and 100 private wells as it tries to determine just how far a potentially harmful chemical has spread in North Bennnington.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The state is ramping up its efforts to protect North Bennington residents from potential widespread hazardous chemical exposure.