The New York Times: Tainted-Water Worries Spread to Vermont Village


Above the Walloomsac River, where ramshackle farmhouses sit just downhill from tidy homes with organic gardens out back, the old ChemFab plant was, for many, a respected local employer from the days when this village’s prosperity depended on industry. For others, it was an eyesore and a nuisance, its smokestacks choking their homes with an acrid smell that seemed to cause headaches, sore throats and nosebleeds. But since the plant shut down more than a dozen years ago, few had given a thought to its environmental legacy. In recent weeks, however, several private wells near the ChemFab plant have tested positive for an industrial chemical that has been linked to cancer, thyroid disease and serious complications during pregnancy, making North Bennington — better known for its bed-and-breakfasts and Bennington College — the latest in a growing list of Northeastern communities unsettled by a contaminated-water scare.

Vivian Yee