facebook linkedin twitter

List of Military Installations Dealing With PFAS Chemical Contamination Expected to Grow

September 17, 2019 by Dan McCue
List of Military Installations Dealing With PFAS Chemical Contamination Expected to Grow

WASHINGTON – The number of U.S. military installations contaminated with potentially cancer-causing chemical compounds found in firefighting foam is expected to rise as a Defense Department task force continues to assess the problem, the Pentagon said last week.

During a roundtable with reporters, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment Bob McMahon said he expects the number of bases identified as contaminated will grow “as we begin to get a better understanding and better characterization of where we are.”

The problem stems from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS chemicals, which are found in a number of industrial and household products, including firefighting foam.

A number of studies have linked PFAS chemicals to birth defects, infertility, developmental delays and some cancers.


The Defense Department began widespread testing for contamination in drinking water at its facilities in 2016, followed by testing of groundwater on and near military installations.

Last year, it announced that of 524 installations examined, 401 have some level of contamination. Twenty-four of those had drinking water contamination at levels higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion.

In July, Defense Secretary Mark Esper directed the Pentagon to establish a task force to study the chemicals and the potential impact they have on military personnel and the communities surrounding domestic military facilities.


Then, on Sept. 13, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group released a study suggesting as many as 90 additional current and former Army and Army National Guard installations had higher levels of ground or drinking water contamination than previously indicated.

The Defense Department task force will look at the health effects of contamination, science-supported standards for exposure and cleanup, and how best to coordinate inter-agency collaboration to address issues found.

McMahon said to date the task force has generated 40 recommendations and goals, from short-term fixes to long-term solutions to address PFAS-related issues.

He also said no military personnel or family members whose drinking water comes from Defense Department-managed water sources are consuming levels of PFAS higher than the lifetime health advisory limit.

The focus on PFAS chemicals comes as House and Senate negotiators work to hammer out a final deal on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act — the defense spending bill.

Both the House and Senate versions of the bill include provisions to restrict PFAS discharges into water and end the military’s use of PFAS in firefighting foam and food packaging.


On Monday, the Environmental Working Group published an editorial on its website, telling supporters it is especially important that the NDAA would designate PFAS as “hazardous substances.”

“This would trigger a higher level of reporting requirements, kick-start the cleanup process and mandate that the polluting companies – not taxpayers – pay for the cleanup, instead of pointing fingers at each other and avoiding responsibility,” the editorial says.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Military

May 18, 2022
by Dan McCue
US Army Leading by Example on Climate Change Adaptation

WASHINGTON — Though its primary mission remains warfighting, the U.S. Army is playing a leading role in an entirely different... Read More

WASHINGTON — Though its primary mission remains warfighting, the U.S. Army is playing a leading role in an entirely different battle — the nation’s response to the challenges of climate change. The scope of this mission is laid out in the Army’s Climate Change Strategy, which... Read More

May 18, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
UFOs Described at Congressional Hearing as Potential National Security Threat

WASHINGTON — Defense intelligence officials told a congressional panel Tuesday that sightings of "unidentified aerial phenomena" are increasing but they... Read More

WASHINGTON — Defense intelligence officials told a congressional panel Tuesday that sightings of "unidentified aerial phenomena" are increasing but they could not explain why. They don’t know where they come from or how the ultra-fast flying discs stay in the air. Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence... Read More

May 13, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Space is the Future for National Defense, Military Officials Tell Congressional Panel

WASHINGTON — Space was described as the final frontier for defending the United States against weapons of mass destruction from... Read More

WASHINGTON — Space was described as the final frontier for defending the United States against weapons of mass destruction from China and Russia at a congressional hearing Friday. Leading the U.S. defense effort is the Space Force, a new branch of the military that seeks to... Read More

May 9, 2022
by Dan McCue
US Army Awards Ameresco Energy Storage System Contract

FREDERICK, Md. — The U.S. Army has awarded the Federal Solutions Group of Ameresco Inc. a contract to add a... Read More

FREDERICK, Md. — The U.S. Army has awarded the Federal Solutions Group of Ameresco Inc. a contract to add a comprehensive battery storage system to the existing 18.6-MW solar energy facility at the Fort Detrick Army Garrison in Maryland. Ameresco, a clean-tech integrator specializing in energy... Read More

April 26, 2022
by Reece Nations
World Military Expenditures Exceed $2T for First Time 

STOCKHOLM — Worldwide military spending reached an all-time high of $2.113 trillion in 2021, the seventh consecutive year of increased... Read More

STOCKHOLM — Worldwide military spending reached an all-time high of $2.113 trillion in 2021, the seventh consecutive year of increased global military expenditures. Data published on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found the world’s top military spenders in 2021 were the United States,... Read More

April 20, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Justice Dept. Sues Towing Company for Auctioning Service Members’ Cars

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Justice Department is suing a Virginia towing company it accuses of towing and auctioning the... Read More

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Justice Department is suing a Virginia towing company it accuses of towing and auctioning the vehicles of military service members while they were deployed on active duty. The lawsuit says Steve’s Towing Inc. of Virginia Beach violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top