BY KEVIN MCCALLUM
Oct 21, 2021
A South Burlington dairy farmer is suing the City of Burlington, contending that his well was contaminated by toxic chemicals that flowed off airport property.
John Belter alleges that the chemicals came from a firefighting foam long used by the Vermont Air National Guard, which leases a portion of the Burlington International Airport. The per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, contaminated the groundwater and a stream that runs across the farm, Belter has previously said.
Now Belter says the city, as airport owner, is responsible for compensating his family and putting an end to the “permanent physical invasion” of his property by the toxic chemicals.
“They’ve been such good farmers, and such responsible stewards of the land, that it’s tragic something like this should happen to them,” said the Belters’ attorney, Emily Joselson.
PFAS chemicals are found in nonstick cookware and also make clothes and carpets water repellant. But they have been linked to cancer and other serious illnesses. They’re the same class of chemicals that contaminated hundreds of private wells in the Bennington area, and they routinely leach out of landfills in Vermont and across the nation.<[FULL ARTICLE]