“BENNINGTON — Members of the Bennington County delegation are urging Gov. Phil Scott to sign S.103, a bill that originated after PFOA contamination was discovered in groundwater here around two former ChemFab Corp. plants.

The legislation, proposed by Sen. Brian Campion, D-Bennington, passed the Senate and House late last month and was officially sent to the governor’s office on Tuesday. Scott then had five days to either sign, veto or allow the bill to become law without his signature, Campion said, but the governor hasn’t announced his intention…

The bill gives an Interagency Committee on Chemical Management the authority to annually identify unregulated chemicals of concern and recommend rules or legislation to reduce the effects of toxic substances on human health or the environment.

The letter notes that the Legislature created a working group after the contamination was discovered in early 2016 to develop policy recommendations to reduce exposure of residents to toxic chemicals, and that Scott ‘stepped up to create an inter-agency committee on chemical management last summer via executive order.’

In the letter, the lawmakers said they believe ‘that putting this inter-agency committee into statute in S.103 ensures its longevity beyond your administration, and creates a feedback loop directly to the Legislature so we can take action on the committee’s recommendations.’

The inter-agency committee would include a member of the House and Senate; the secretaries of the Natural Resources, Agriculture, Health, Labor, Public Safety and Commerce and Community Development departments, and the commissioner of information. The provisions would take effect on July 1…

Since it was first introduced, a controversial provision in the bill — on liability for businesses that use toxic or hazardous materials was separated out — into S.197. That bill has cleared the Senate while facing stiff opposition from lobbyists and organizations representing industries, and is now before the House.

S.197 would hold companies liable for the release of toxic substances.”

Read the full article by Jim Therrien.