JOINT BASE McGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST — More than a year has passed since a military investigation into chemical pollution from firefighting foam revealed that groundwater and soil at dozens of sites on the base were contaminated.

And there’s no telling how long it will be until cleanups begin.

Investigators are still testing off-base private wells in the area to determine how many more contain unsafe levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), joint base spokesman Sgt. Chris Powell said Friday. That testing was added to the military’s groundwater and soil sampling efforts in December 2016 as part of the site inspection phase of the investigation.

As of May 15, the military had sampled 156 private wells out of the 275 it wants to test in Pemberton Township and New Hanover in Burlington County, and in Jackson and Manchester in Ocean County.

When asked if the EPA is concerned about the time the investigation is taking, agency spokeswoman Tayler Covington said in an email: “The EPA is working closely with the Air Force to achieve the same goals at JBMDL. Remediation of the … contamination will not begin until identification and mitigation of potential future drinking water exposures has been completed.”

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