The State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has reclassified groundwater from a Class III to a Class IV designation for an area located in the Towns of Bennington and Shaftsbury and the Village of North Bennington. A Class IV designation means that at least a part of the underlying groundwater is not suitable for drinking water due to the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) above the applicable regulatory standards in groundwater. The current applicable regulatory standards for PFAS are 20 ug/L for the combined concentration of five PFAS (PFOA, PFOS, PFHpA, PFNA, and PFHxS).
The reclassifying of groundwater to a Class IV, as shown on the map, protects people living and working in Bennington by providing restrictions and requirements for installing new wells within the proposed reclassification. These requirements include specifications for well construction, criteria for sampling and long-term monitoring, and criteria for treatment (if needed) of drinking water. This reclassification also serves as a formal notification to landowners, well drillers, and permitting agencies that at least some part of the underlying groundwater is or may be contaminated by per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and not suitable for drinking water.
In response to comments received during the public comment period (February 17, 2021, to May 28, 2021), the final Reclassification Order was modified to acknowledge that not all groundwater, particularly drinking water wells, has PFAS above the applicable regulatory standards. This is due to the fact that not all drinking water wells within the Reclassification Area is contaminated with PFAS (130 plus drinking water wells either have no PFAS or PFAS below the applicable regulatory standards). The order now explicitly states the Class IV designation does not apply to existing or new wells that continue to test below the applicable regulatory standards for PFAS. The order also specifies the criteria on which a water supply that has, or has had, PFAS above the applicable regulatory standards will be considered potable in the future.
This website provides information related to the reclassification, including the following:
- Final Reclassification Decision Documents and Reclassification Order-November 2, 2021
- The Reclassification Map
- Fact Sheet/FAQ - On reclassification in Bennington area
- The Petition
- Documents supporting the draft Order and Petition
- The 2019 Saint-Gobain Settlement Agreement
If you have any questions about this groundwater reclassification, please contact either John Schmeltzer or Richard Spiese:
1 National Life Dr-Davis 1
Montpelier VT 05620
1 National Life Dr-Davis
Montpelier VT 05620
Summary of Previous Activity - Draft Findings of Fact and Reclassification, associated Revisions, and related public meeting information
Groundwater Reclassification Petition - January 28, 2020
--Figure 1 CAA Location
--Figure 2 Operable Units
--Figure 3 CAA and Groundwater Reclassification Area
--Figure 4 PFAS in Groundwater
--Figure 5 Drinking Water Wells
--Figure 6 Groundwater Reclassification Area
--Figure 7 Adjacent Properties to Groundwater Reclassification Area
More information about Groundwater Reclassification - including general fact sheet on Class IV Groundwater Reclassification
Other PFAS Information for Southwestern Vermont - Further information is available in other sections of the DEC web site.