From the Desk of Tom Kinisky

President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics

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April 2016

In February, 2016, authorities tested North Bennington, Vermont, drinking and well water for PFOA. While PFOA was not detected in the municipal drinking water, private wells near a former Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site did test positive for elevated levels of PFOA. Since this discovery, Saint-Gobain has worked with authorities to ensure the well-being of the community.

The site in question is the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington. In 2000, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics acquired the Chemfab plant in North Bennington, Vt. The facility was closed for production in 2002. This location purchased PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene, which is a synthetic resin) during the two-year period of operation for use in manufacturing tapes for the aerospace, automotive and electronics industries, among others. PFOA was present in the raw PTFE material purchased from suppliers. Saint-Gobain has never manufactured PTFE or PFOA. 

The health and welfare of the North Bennington community is Saint-Gobain’s top priority. We will continue to work proactively and cooperatively with all the relevant regulatory agencies to help address this for the community. 

As a safety precaution, we chose to fund the testing of the drinking water and wells in the area to check for elevated levels of PFOA. Here is more information on what we’re doing in the area: 

  1. As soon as we learned about the issue and need for further testing, we began providing bottled water for residents and point-of-entry filtration systems for those whose wells were affected. 
  2. We’re also sampling and testing the soil at designated locations within a 1.5 mile radius of the plant. 
  3. In addition, Saint-Gobain will develop a site investigation plan for the former Chemfab factory and fund engineering teams to help the Department of Environmental Conservation with its investigation. 
  4. Saint-Gobain will continue to cooperate with local, state and federal officials as investigations into the source of PFOA continue, and as further well testing and remediation options are reviewed. We will continue to take a leadership role in ensuring the water in North Bennington is safe for all, even though the liability has not been determined. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to visit the Contact Page of this website for the person or persons best suited to answer your questions. 

 

– Tom Kinisky