first_imgVermont Business Magazine The number of contaminated wells has grown to 52, as testing has expanded in the area around the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington. Additional testing of the North Bennington public water system, including samples from the elementary school, have confirmed no PFOA contamination. Governor Peter Shumlin today provided the following update on the situation in North Bennington. The location of the community meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been moved. The meeting will be held at 6pm, Wednesday, March 16 in the Tishman Lecture Hall at Bennington College, 1 College Drive, Bennington.Testing Results – The second round of well sample results were received late yesterday. The results mostly represent samples collected outside of the immediate proximity of the Chemfab plant. Of the 67 results received from the March expanded sampling within the 1.5 mile radius, 52 private wells showed PFOA levels above the Health Department’s acceptable level of 20ppt. Those results above the standard range from 38ppt to 2,730ppt. Twelve samples did not detect PFOA, 3 samples had detections below 20ppt, and 52 were greater than 20ppt. About 185 wells have been sampled in the 1.5 mile radius around the plant. As more results come in, more will be known about the extent of the contamination of private wells.Soil Sampling – Soil sampling of the impacted area will begin tomorrow at the former Chemfab facility and will include samples at impacted residences. The sampling plan will include more than 100 samples at over 25 locations.  Results will be available in the coming weeks.   Notifying Affected Residents – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) began notifying residents of test results on Saturday, going door to door to explain the results, answer questions, and coordinate installation of water treatment systems. A community meeting to review results and answer questions will be held at 6pm, Wednesday, March 16 in the Tishman Lecture Hall at Bennington College, 1 College Drive, Bennington. Note: The location for the meeting has changed.  The Health Department is also reaching out by phone to residents who have just received test results that show their well is contaminated with PFOA. Bottled Water & Treatment Systems – Bottled water remains available at the North Bennington Village Variety Store, located at 9 Route 67 West, and is being delivered to impacted homes.  Two water tanks from which residents can draw water are located in the parking lot across from the former Chemfab plant located at the intersection of Water Street and Route 67a.  Point of Entry Treatment systems are being offered to impacted residents.Information Center – An information center has been set up at the Vermont Department of Health offices located at 324 Main Street and will be open from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday next week. Officials from DEC and Health will be on hand to answer follow up questions from residents. PFOA is a manufactured chemical that belongs to a group of chemicals used to make household and commercial products that resist heat and chemical reactions, and repel oil, stains, grease and water. These chemicals are widely found in nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, water repellant clothing, paper and cardboard food packaging and fire-fighting foam.PFOA does not break down easily and therefore persists for a very long time in the environment, especially in water. Its toxicity and persistence in the environment means it is a potential danger to human health and the environment.last_img