BENNINGTON, VT (NEWS10) — Back in June, the EPA updated drinking water advisories for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation says these changes in water value is of no harm to Bennington.

The EPA update to PFOA and PFOS replaced the regulations issued in 2016. The previous EPA values were 70 nanograms per liter (ng/l, or part per trillion(ppt)). The updated EPA interim health advisory grades are 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 0.02 ppt for PFOS. These levels can’t be found in water using current technologies.

The EPA set these values based on an updated assessment of health information since 2016. The current DEC regulatory level is 20ppt.

A consent order between the State of Vermont and Saint-Gobain filed with the Bennington County Superior Court in 2019 drove the current actions. The agreement dictated that actions taken by Saint-Gobain and overseen by Vermont protect public health are related to state standards.

The Vermont Department of Health reviews all material used by the EPA to set health advisories. If the VDH determines that a new recommendation for PFAS is warranted, then the DEC can update the standards in the applicable groundwater protection and drinking water rules.

Although, Vermont cannot require Saint-Gobain to take further actions in wells where PFOA has been detected above the laboratory detection maximum. However, there are interim steps citizens in Bennington can take to limit their exposure to lower levels of PFOA.

Residents of Bennington can do the following:

  • Purchase and consume bottled water despite drinking water being the primary exposure to PFOA
  • Installing and keeping up to date a point-of-entry or point-of-use regimen system at your residence
  • Ensure a limit of consumption of untreated water coming into your home from your water supply