The North Bennington and Bennington public water systems, in consultation with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VT ANR), have requested that the Vermont Route 279 right-of-way near Austin Hill Road be used to receive excess trench soils (spoils) that will be generated during the expansion of the public water systems in the Town of Bennington and adjacent Village of North Bennington. The public water systems are being expanded primarily to connect approximately 200 homes or businesses affected by the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at or above 20 ppt in private drinking wells where it is technically feasible and cost effective. The spoils from the upcoming public water system expansion are presumed to contain PFOA.
The use of the Vermont Route 279 right-of-way as a disposal location for up to 44,000 cubic yards of spoils requires approval by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). In accordance with 23 CFR 1.23, the proposed use of this right-of-way also requires approval by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). FHWA’s approval is considered an administrative action as defined in 23 CFR 107(c), thus requiring compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). FHWA has chosen an Environmental Assessment as the appropriate level of NEPA evaluation for this action.
The Environmental Assessment for this proposed action is available for review and comment online and at the Bennington Town Offices, located at 205 South Street.
A public meeting is scheduled for 6:30 PM on September 26, 2017 at the Bennington Firehouse (2nd floor) located at 130 River Street, Bennington VT. It will also be shown on CAT-TV (public access). The purpose of the public meeting is to provide a brief presentation about the proposed action as described in the Environmental Assessment and to provide an opportunity for the public to provide written or verbal comments. Comments may be presented verbally at the public hearing, or may be submitted in writing until October 13, 2017 to:
Kenneth R. Sikora
Environmental Program Manager
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Building, Suite 216
87 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602-9505
VTrans Environmental Section
Vermont Agency of Transportation
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05633-5001