Read the full article by Josh Farley (Kitsap Sun)

“BANGOR — Two wells bordering Naval Base Kitsap’s southern edge have been found to have potentially harmful levels of contamination caused by a firefighting foam long used on the base, and the Navy is pursuing further testing to examine a wider area for its presence this fall.  

The results come from an initial round of water testing earlier this year for what are known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known by their acronym, PFAS. A common chemical ingredient since the 1950s, PFAS have more recently been found by the Environmental Protection Agency to be dangerous at certain levels in the bloodstream, raising risks for cancer and ill effects on the body’s immune and endocrine system and in human development. 

Of the 292 wells sampled by the Navy in February, 83 showed some level of PFAS, the Navy said. Two wells were found to have more than 70 parts per trillion of PFAS compounds — the amount that triggers a lifetime health advisory by the EPA. Residents who get water from those wells are being supplied with an indefinite supply of bottled water until the Navy can provide a permanent solution to the problem. 

Capt. Rich Rhinehart, Naval Base Kitsap’s commanding officer, said the Navy is taking a ‘proactive approach’ in testing for the compounds. 

‘We continue to work with local and state agencies to ensure that the proper testing is being done to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those within the sample area,’ he said.

The Navy is opening up a larger area to the south for additional testing this fall, to begin in October. Around 400 letters have been sent to properties there, to go with the initial outreach of about 1,400. The Navy has hired a contractor to conduct the testing for area residents…”