Awards and Honors, Faculty News

Schroeder Honored by EPA

Science faculty member Tim Schroeder was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency with a Regional Environmental Award for his participation in the Vermont Aquifer Characterization Team. 

Image of EPA seal

The Vermont Aquifer Characterization Team examined a plume contaminated with PFOA in rock aquifers in the Bennington area, which affected several hundred drinking water wells, surface water and sediment. The likely source of the PFOA was two former facilities that primarily produced teflon-coated fiberglass fabrics.

This team of geologists, geochemists and hydrogeologists from state and federal government, universities, and private business—including Bennington College's Tim Schroeder—provided crucial interpretations and data to help the community understand and address risks, develop sites for monitoring wells, and determine the scope of expansion of critical infrastructure to homes and businesses.

The project improved the scientific foundation for policy and decision-making related to PFAS. The physical model allowed the team to determine the potential avenues for groundwater and PFAS transport in the bedrock and aquifers. Findings about groundwater ages are proving critical in understanding contamination patterns and safeguarding clean drinking water for the community and families.

For their work to protect New England's environment, the Vermont Aquifer Characterization Team was recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Schroeder was among 24 recipients across New England honored by EPA's New England office at the 2020 Environmental Merit Awards virtual ceremony.

EPA New England's annual Environmental Merit Awards are given to community leaders, scientists, government officials, business leaders, schools, and students who represent different approaches, but a common commitment, to environmental protection.