Read the full article by Alex Formica (EWG)
“WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense has released new data showing that more than 600 military sites and surrounding communities could be contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals, or PFAS – far more installations than have been previously disclosed by Pentagon officials.
Details about the new facilities likely contaminated with PFAS leaked last week, a day after a House appropriations subcommittee hearing during which members heard heart-wrenching testimony from retired Army pilot Jim Holmes, who believes his 17-year-old daughter’s death from brain cancer could have been caused by exposure to PFAS-contaminated water on the base where he was stationed.
Holmes was joined at the hearing by EWG’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber, who urged Congress and the Pentagon to accelerate efforts to clean up legacy PFAS pollution at military installations around the country.
Previously, DOD testified that 401 of its installations could be contaminated with PFAS, which have been linked to cancer, liver damage and harm to the reproductive and immune systems.
The updated list of installations identified by DOD can be found here.
The DOD’s use of firefighting foam made with PFAS, also known as aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF, is the primary source of PFAS pollution at military installations.
(Note: Several of the installations where PFAS contamination is suspected include more than one military operation on the site, which is why some reports list the number of facilities at 651. When those locations with duplicate installations are considered, the actual number is just over 600 bases.)
EWG has so far confirmed PFAS in the tap water or groundwater at 328 military sites. Until recently, PFAS contaminated the drinking water of dozens of bases, and many communities near these installations continue to drink contaminated water.
Through Freedom of Information Act requests, EWG also discovered that many of the highest PFAS detections in the nation have been found on or near DOD installations.
In particular, within DOD documents, EWG found evidence of PFAS detections in groundwater at 14 installations that were above 1 million parts per trillion, or ppt, far above the 70 ppt drinking water advisory level recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency…”