Gov. Scott, officials will tout waterline extensions Monday

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BENNINGTON — Gov. Phil Scott will be among the officials at a press conference here Monday afternoon to highlight progress on waterline construction, an effort to address widespread PFOA contamination of private wells.

Officials will announce that a waterline extension will be providing the first phase of homes with clean, reliable drinking water, according to an advisory from Scott's office issued on Friday afternoon.

Scott will be joined by Attorney General TJ Donovan, Agency of Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Peter Walke, members of Bennington's legislative delegation, local officials and residents, according to Scott's office.

Construction on the waterline extensions began in the fall. The project includes extending service to about 200 properties with wells contaminated or threatened by PFOA, or perfluooctanoic acid, or PFOA, in the area around former Chem-Fab Corp. factories.

Funding comes from a settlement agreement between the state and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics to provide $20 million for the work, which was announced in July and approved by a Superior Court judge in September.

Saint-Gobain acquired ChemFab in 2000 and closed the local operation in 2002.

The town of Bennington's waterline extension will be 10 miles in length and serve approximately 155 properties in the northwest portion of the town. The Village of North Bennington's waterline extension will run four miles and will serve approximately 55 individual property connections.

State officials believe PFOA, a chemical used in making products coated with Teflon, was primarily spread through factory stack emissions that built up in soil over a wide area around two plants. PFOA has been linked to cancers and other diseases. It's also turned up in Pownal and nearby Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, N.Y.

Ed Damon can be reached at edamon@benningtonbanner.com, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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