Court OKs settlement between State of Vermont and Saint-Gobain over PFOA

first_imgVermont Business Magazine On Monday, the Bennington Superior Court granted the State of Vermont’s motion to enter the Consent Order between the state and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation. The Consent Order memorializes the settlement agreement between the state and Saint-Gobain for PFOA contamination in western portions of Bennington and North Bennington. Under the settlement, Saint-Gobain will fund municipal water line extensions costing an estimated $20 million and conduct an expedited investigation in the eastern portion of the Bennington site. Saint-Gobain bought Chemfab in 2000. In Bennington, the Chemfab plant produced Teflon-covered fabrics. The Teflon-coating process is considered the source of the PFOA.(link is external) “I am very pleased that the Court has entered Vermont’s settlement agreement with Saint-Gobain” said Governor Phil Scott. “We can now begin the real work of extending water lines to more than 200 residents of Bennington and North Bennington impacted or at risk of being impacted by PFOA. This is the result of many months of hard work by the Agency of Natural Resources and Attorney General’s Office working with state legislators and local officials – across multiple administrations – and the work is not done. The Attorney General and I will continue to push Saint-Gobain to address all residents affected by PFOA contamination. We will not stop until we have long-term drinking water solutions in place for everyone.”“This settlement is a first step,” said Attorney General TJ Donovan. “Work can begin this year to bring clean drinking water to many in Bennington and North Bennington. But the job isn’t done. Clean drinking water is a human right and my Office, with our state and community partners, is committed to fight until everyone gets the clean water they deserve.”The settlement addresses approximately one-half of the Bennington site, roughly to the west of Route 7A. Approximately 200 homes will be connected to a municipal water line, with others receiving a new well or long-term point-of-entry-treatment (POET) filters. Under the settlement, Saint-Gobain is responsible for providing clean drinking water to homes in this portion of the site until long-term sampling shows that PFOA is below the State’s standard of 20 parts per trillion (ppt). Saint-Gobain has also agreed to conduct an expedited investigation in the other half of the site, roughly east of Route 7A. The State is continuing negotiations with Saint-Gobain regarding the eastern portion of the site.The Consent Order was filed in late July and announced at a public meeting in Bennington that evening. A thirty-day public comment period followed the filing. At a status conference in Bennington Superior Court last week, the Court requested more information from the parties. The parties provided that the next day and the Court’s October 2, 2017 Order followed.Related Documents:Pleadings by Agreement (7/26/17)(link is external)Stipulation for Entry of Consent Order, with Consent Order (7/26/17)(link is external)Consent Order Appendices (7/26/17)(link is external)Letter regarding Public Comment Period (8/22/17)(link is external)Letter regarding Entry of Consent Order (8/29/17)(link is external)Motion for Entry of Consent Order (9/29/17)(link is external)Entry Order (10/2/17)(link is external)Consent Order Fact Sheet (7/26/17)(link is external)Consent Order FAQ (7/26/17)(link is external)Vermont AG: Oct 4, 2017last_img read more

30 percent of world is now fat, no country immune

first_imgLONDON | Almost a third of the world is now fat, and no country has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades, according to a new global analysis.Researchers found more than 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight or obese. The highest rates were in the Middle East and North Africa, where nearly 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women are heavy. The U.S. has about 13 percent of the world’s fat population, a greater percentage than any other country. China and India combined have about 15 percent.In this file photo dated Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007, an overweight person eats in London, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)“It’s pretty grim,” said Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who led the study. He and colleagues reviewed more than 1,700 studies covering 188 countries from 1980 to 2013. “When we realized that not a single country has had a significant decline in obesity, that tells you how hard a challenge this is.”Murray said there was a strong link between income and obesity; in developing countries, as people get richer, their waistlines also tend to start bulging. In many rich countries like the U.S. and Britain, the trend is reversed — though only slightly. Murray said scientists have noticed accompanying spikes in diabetes as obesity has risen and that rates of cancers linked to weight, like pancreatic cancer, are also rising.The new report was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and published online Thursday in the journal, Lancet.Last week, the World Health Organization established a high-level commission tasked with ending childhood obesity.“Our children are getting fatter,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, said bluntly during a speech at the agency’s annual meeting in Geneva. “Parts of the world are quite literally eating themselves to death.” Earlier this year, WHO said that no more than 5 percent of your daily calories should come from sugar.“Modernization has not been good for health,” said Syed Shah, an obesity expert at United Arab Emirates University, who found obesity rates have jumped five times in the last 20 years even in a handful of remote Himalayan villages in Pakistan. His research was presented this week at a conference in Bulgaria. “Years ago, people had to walk for hours if they wanted to make a phone call,” he said. “Now everyone has a cellphone.”Shah also said the villagers no longer have to rely on their own farms for food.“There are roads for (companies) to bring in their processed foods and the people don’t have to slaughter their own animals for meat and oil,” he said. “No one knew about Coke and Pepsi 20 years ago. Now it’s everywhere.”In Britain, the independent health watchdog issued new advice Wednesday recommending that heavy people be sent to free weight-loss classes to drop about 3 percent of their weight. It reasoned that losing just a few pounds improves health and is more realistic. About two in three adults in the U.K. are overweight, making it the fattest country in Western Europe.“This is not something where you can just wake up one morning and say, ‘I am going to lose 10 pounds,’” said Mike Kelly, the agency’s public health director, in a statement. “It takes resolve and it takes encouragement.”last_img read more