Read the full article by Lucas Willard (WAMC Northeast Public Radio)
“Lawyers representing Bennington, Vermont residents have announced a settlement with Saint-Gobain over PFAS contamination.
In a class action settlement agreement announced Thursday, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has agreed to pay $34 million to Bennington-area residents affected by pollution that has been linked to the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington, owned by Saint-Gobain.
Jim Sullivan, a local resident whose well was contaminated, is also serving as a spokesman for plaintiffs in the case.
‘Certainly it’s been a long haul and a struggle, but I think everybody is pleased – I certainly am – of that outcome and that we finally got resolution,’ said Sullivan.
State agencies confirmed the presence of PFAS in private wells in 2016.
The settlement includes $6 million to support a 15-year medical monitoring effort. PFAS exposure has been linked to several ill-health effects including some forms of cancer.
David Silver is a Bennington resident and part of a team of lawyers who worked on the case. Like Sullivan, Silver is pleased by the settlement’s inclusion of medical monitoring.
‘One of the most important things for me and I think for our whole team was to try to get the medical monitoring in place. And what we believe is that this was really a landmark case for medical monitoring. It had never been done before in Vermont, very few times in the whole country, and we’re very proud and happy that that’s going to be in place for the members of the community. It’s probably the most important part of the whole settlement,’ said Silver.
A statement from Saint-Gobain issued to WAMC says the company is ‘pleased’ to reach a settlement after two years of talks:
Since we first learned about the presence of PFAS in Bennington, Saint-Gobain made it clear we would take a leadership position on the issue, even though our Bennington plant has not been in operation since 2002. We believe these settlements and the extensive remediation work already completed are indicative of that commitment.“…