Vt. officials get public input on negotiations with Saint-Gobain over PFOA crisis

BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Vermont state officials held a public meeting on PFOA contamination and a proposed project that would extend city water lines.

The meeting was an opportunity for the community to weigh in on negotiation talks between the state and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. The meeting was held at Bennington College.

Saint-Gobain owns ChemFab, which has been deemed responsible for PFOA contamination in Bennington County. Saint-Gobain has been paying for water samples, carbon filters, and most of the costs associated with remediation.

But will they pay to extend city water lines? The state looked to public input on the project. Many homes on private wells are not eligible for a private filter even though they don’t have clean water.

The extended city water lines project might be able to change that.

“How long will they pay for the Point of Entry Treatment Systems (POETS) [private carbon filters] if people sign up for the municipal line?” Vt. DEC Commissioner Alyssa Schuren posed. “Will they pay for their water bills? Indefinitely for a few years?

Engineering reports show five viable options that would connect the city’s filtered water to homes on private wells. It would help Robert Moffitt who isn’t eligible for a carbon filter.

“If you’re over 20, you get a filter,” he said. “But I’m not. I’m at 14.4 parts per trillion. But everybody around me is above 20, so I’m kind of weary of what’s going on.”

Bennington College is on track to find out what is going on with the fluctuating PFOA levels. The school used federal grant money to cross state lines and investigate PFOA contamination.

“One house had an initial reading of 85 ppt, one has 2,500 ppt, and one was at non-detect,” Bennington College professor David Bond said. “Houses that are fairly close have very different numbers. So we started looking at them once a month and will continue monitoring for the full year.”

Vermont’s Department of Health is holding another blood clinic in November for anyone who was not able to get their blood tested earlier in the year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s