Officials: Water Samples Show PFOA Contamination in Bennington Area Ponds

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The Vermont Governor’s Office announced surface water results from Bennington and North Bennington samples.

Collections were taken around the former Chemfab facilities to try and determine the source and extent of PFOA contamination.

The governor’s office says of the 10 water samples taken from local creeks and ponds, concentrations of PFOA  ranged from no detection (less than 7 parts per trillion) to 78 parts per trillion.

The highest concentration was found from a water surface sample from the pond on Bennington College Campus. PFOA concentrations in four water samples from Paran Creek ranged from 16 to 38 parts per trillion from. PFOA concentrations between 8 and 9 parts per trillion were detected in the water samples collected from the Walloomsac River.

No PFOA was detected in the water samples from Lake Paran or in the Walloomsac River just upstream and downstream of its confluence with the Roaring Branch.

“It is unlikely these concentrations would pose an ecological risk to fish and other aquatic organisms in these waters,” said Department of Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter.

The Health Department says PFOA levels found in bodies of water are much lower than the levels required to make people sick who swim there.

As a precaution, the Agency of Agriculture, Department of Health, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Department of Environmental Conservation will work together to test fish.

The governor’s office says department staff will use water and sediment results to determine how PFOA is distributed in the environment and develop a remediation plan.

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