VNRC commends state officials for their rapid response to the water pollution and health emergency in North Bennington. In light of the terrible contamination and slow response in Flint, Michigan, and in nearby Hoosick Falls, New York, It is heartening to see effective and quick work being done in Vermont by state officials.
The contamination of wells in North Bennington is a stark reminder of how important it is to protect groundwater, which provides the vast majority of drinking water to Vermonters. It is vital that the Shumlin administration identify the source and extent of the contamination as quickly as possible, and continue to take action to ensure that the residents of North Bennington have access to clean, safe drinking water.
VNRC was a leading advocate for designating groundwater a public trust resource in Vermont 2008. As a result of this designation, the State of Vermont has a legal obligation to manage and protect Vermont’s groundwater in the public interest. VNRC will be monitoring the situation in North Bennington closely to ensure that the State fulfills its obligation to restore the quality of groundwater, and holds the polluters of this public trust resource accountable.
For more on this issue, read the March 2nd, 2016 Times Argus editorial: