- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

NORTH BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed a bill that gives the state more power to hold accountable companies that pollute the environment.

The new law signed Wednesday aims to protect Vermont residents against hazardous chemicals like perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which has contaminated more than 200 private wells in North Bennington and Bennington.

The law gives the Agency of Natural Resources the power to request information from companies if a release is suspected, such as what chemicals they use at their Vermont facilities.

It also sets up a working group that will examine chemicals that are being used in the state and determine if any are potentially dangerous to the environment or to public health. The group will report to lawmakers by the end of this year.

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