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NPL Site Narrative for Bennington Municipal Sanitary Landfill

Bennington, Vermont

Federal Register Notice:  March 31, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): The Bennington Municipal Sanitary Landfill in Bennington, Bennington County, Vermont, occupies 28 acres, 10 of which now serve as a sanitary landfill. Before the site was a landfill, it was a sand and gravel pit. The town of Bennington leased the landfill during 1969-85, then purchased the property. In September 1983, the town received a permit from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) to dispose of municipal wastes on the 10 acres.

During 1969-75, liquid industrial wastes from several Bennington industries were disposed of in an unlined lagoon. The wastes included PCBs, organic solvents, and lead, according to town records. The lagoon was closed in 1975, and after attempts to dewater it failed, it was filled in with landfill material.

A buried drain system constructed in 1976 is designed to lower the ground water level under the landfill. The system discharges through a culvert into an unlined, ponded area. In August 1986, VT DEC detected PCBs, lead, arsenic, benzene, and ethylbenzene in the ground water discharging from the culvert.

Morgan Spring, a bedrock water source 2.8 miles south of the landfill, is regularly used to supplement the Bennington water system. In addition, approximately 2,200 residents use private wells within 3 miles of the site. In all, an estimated 13,600 people are potentially affected.

In August 1986, VT DEC analyses detected bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate in sediment in Hewitt Brook, which is used for fishing, within 3 miles downstream of the site. A fresh water wetland is 500 feet east of the culvert.

VT DEC detected several flammable materials, including ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylene, in the culvert. In June 1985, the culvert caught fire.

The site is not completely fenced, making it possible for people and animals to come into direct contact with hazardous substances.

Status (March 31, 1989): EPA is considering various alternatives for the site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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