Read the full article by Karl Puckett (Stars and Stripes)

“(Tribune News Service) — Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is requesting permission to test drinking water wells on neighboring properties for the presence of man-made ‘forever chemicals’ that have turned up in groundwater at the base at above federal health advisory levels.

The sampling is for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — known as PFAS — which can cause health problems if exposure is prolonged. PFAS may be present in off-base drinking water wells, MCAS says, due to past use of firefighting foam or other PFAS-containing materials.

PFAS are valuable chemicals, prized for their water resistance and durability, but they’ve been linked to health problems, including certain cancers, high cholesterol and a weakened immune system. In 2021, the North Carolina Department of Justice filed suit against more than a dozen manufacturers of firefighting foam that contains the so-called toxic ‘forever chemicals,’ which persist in the environment and can build up in people over time.

The majority of residents who live around the MCAS get drinking water from the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA), not from a well, according to the Marines, and their water will not need to be tested. MCAS also gets its drinking water from BJWSA.

However, some properties around the base may have private wells, and the Navy and Marines would like to collect samples, the Marines said. Bottled water, the Marines said, will be provided for drinking and cooking to property owners if levels of PFAS are found to be above health advisories.

A public meeting is planned from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn & Suites, 2225 Boundary Street in Beaufort, where concerns and questions will be addressed and residents can learn more about the drinking water sampling.” …