Howard Weiss-Tisman

Howard Weiss-Tisman is VPR's southern Vermont correspondent.

It's big news when a group like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announces that it will close after 146 years. But at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, aspiring circus performers continue to train. And in many ways, the staff there say the future of circus arts has never been brighter.

A legislative committee has permanently set Vermont's safe drinking water standard for the chemicals PFOA and PFOS at 20 parts per trillion.

The estimated cost of bringing clean water to all of the Bennington County properties contaminated with PFOA has risen to more than $30 million.

Five years after Tropical Storm Irene flooded out the state hospital in Waterbury, health care providers are still dealing with massive challenges the storm presented to the state's mental health care system.

State officials are trying to figure out if Vermont should make a bid for a 560-megawatt hydroelectric system on the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers. And the Agency of Natural Resources says the system will generate less revenue in the future as older facilities are upgraded to meet modern environmental laws.

The Brattleboro Retreat has reclaimed a historic cemetery that was a burial place for patients who died while being treated at the psychiatric hospital.

The company that's been working closely with the state on the water contamination crisis in North Bennington is now questioning Vermont's low safety standard for the chemical PFOA.

New England lawmakers are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to issue an updated health advisory level for the chemical PFOA.

It's been more than four and a half years since Tropical Storm Irene, and across Vermont, there are still more than two dozen infrastructure projects that haven't been completed.

The state will test another 150 private wells around Bennington for the chemical PFOA.

Gov. Shumlin announced late Thursday that some well samples collected last week show that the suspected carcinogen has contaminated additional private wells beyond the original testing area.

Officials from an international energy company say new environmental and sound studies support their plan to build what would be Vermont's largest commercial wind project.

The recent discovery of the suspected carcinogen PFOA in a public water supply in Pownal could end up costing the state a lot of money.

The suspected carcinogen PFOA has now been found in the public water supply in Pownal. Gov. Shumlin today said test results show contamination slightly above the state advisory level.

State officials were surprised last month when they found out Vermont Yankee was storing low-level radioactive water in swimming pools. But now, the incident has lead to improved communications between Entergy administrators and the state.

The Department of Health says it will be at least a few weeks before North Bennington residents will be able to do blood testing for the suspected carcinogen PFOA.

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday that the state is going to extend the range of water testing as results continue to come in showing widespread contamination around the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington.