The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announces an update to the State’s PFAS Roadmap, outlining continued efforts to address PFAS sources and contamination and to protect the well-being of Vermont residents.
PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of human-made chemicals known for their resistance to heat, water, oil, grease, and stains. These chemicals, prevalent since the 1950s in various industries and consumer products, are persistent and stable, meaning that once they are released, they do not break down and can build up in the environment, wildlife, and humans. For humans, exposure to these “forever chemicals” may lead to adverse health outcomes.
PFAS contamination in Vermont came to light in 2016 with the discovery of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in water supply wells in Bennington and North Bennington. In response, DEC has undertaken substantial measures over the past seven years across the state to test and remediate PFAS in public water systems, respond to contaminated sites, evaluate PFAS concentrations in various environments, and prioritize data collection and regulatory work.
DEC’s updated PFAS Roadmap focuses on four key areas to address PFAS:
1. Reduce or Eliminate PFAS in Commercial Products and Industrial Uses
2. Identify Sources of PFAS Exposure in Vermont
3. Protect Vermonters from Existing Exposures to PFAS
4. Encourage EPA to Provide National Leadership on the Management of PFAS
DEC emphasizes ongoing engagement with impacted communities and all Vermonters through initiatives such as the PFAS Hotline (802-693-0206), a dedicated PFAS website, public meetings, and social media outreach. The aim is to provide information about PFAS, testing, contamination, and cleanup in an accessible and understandable manner.
DEC is committed to prioritizing resources and working collaboratively with regional and national partners to create a consistent approach for reducing or eliminating PFAS in products.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont’s natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit dec.vermont.gov and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.