DEC testing for possible PFOA contamination in North Bennington

town of bennington wastewater treatment_364795

NORTH BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Concerns of water contamination has hit a Vermont community after a dangerous chemical was found in the water in Hoosick Falls.

A person from New York contacted Vermont officials to tell them about a company called ChemFab that used to operate in North Bennington. Now, the Department of Environmental Conservation is testing for PFOA.

The hazardous chemical was found in the water supply in the village of Hoosick Falls in New York.

“You know, we’re just moving very fast with technology without realizing what some of the things can do to us,” Jackie Tennyson, of North Bennington, said.

Tennyson has lived in her North Bennington home for 13 years. She never thought about the old manufacturing site that sits nearby.

“At the time, ChemFab was no longer here,” she said.

ChemFab used to produce Teflon as its Water Street site, and it may have used the hazardous chemical PFOA.

Now the DEC is taking water samples from the town of Bennington’s wastewater filtration plant, the village of North Bennington’s water system, and some private wells in North Bennington.

A company called HC White is next door to the old ChemFab site. It also made Teflon and could have used PFOA as well.

Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd believes contamination is unlikely but not impossible.

“If this PFOA is anything like PCBs, they bind themselves to the soil particles so they don’t move,” he said.

For Tennyson, the fear is real. She wonders about a loved one she lost whom she said worked at the PFOA-contaminated McCaffrey Street site in Hoosick Falls.

“He died of cancer just five years ago, and that’s what he did,” she said. “He made Teflon tape.”

Officials are now waiting for the results from the DEC.

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