LANGHORNE, PA – A deal struck to fund the government through September includes language regarding PFOS/PFOA water contamination at and around military installations.
Specifically, the proposed spending agreement directs Sec. of Defense James Mattis to:
- “[R]equire all Services to establish procedures for prompt and cast-effective remediation” of PFC contamination, and
- Provide a report to Congressional committees within 120 days identifies sites impacted by PFC contamination and “include plans for prompt community notification of such contamination, when the contamination was detected, and the procedures for timely remediation.”
Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has made addressing the contamination of water in the area surrounding the former Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster, former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Horsham, and Horsham Air Guard Station a focus during his first several months.
In March, he urged the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee for funding for cleanup and remediation of PFOS and PFOA as well as a long-term health study on the impacts of PFOS and PFOA. "My constituents have a right to safe, clean drinking water and they deserve to know if PFOS and PFOA have compromised their long-term health,” said Fitzpatrick in his testimony.
In a February letter to the Bucks County Commissioners, Fitzpatrick announced his intention to pursue legislative options for health studies and reimbursement for municipalities in impacted areas.
The full text of the language is below:
“AQUEOUS FILM FORMING FOAM: The use of the fire-extinguishing agent Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) by the Department of Defense has been linked to elevated levels of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) on military bases and in neighboring communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, PFCs have adverse impacts on human health. The Navy and Air Force have begun remediation of PFC contamination. The Secretary of Defense is encouraged to require all Services to establish procedures for prompt and cost-effective remediation. In addition, the Secretary of Defense is directed to submit a report to the congressional defense committees not later than 120 days after the enactment of this Act that assesses the number of formerly used and current military installations where AFFF was or is currently used and the impact of PFC contaminated drinking water on surrounding communities. The report should also include plans for prompt community notification of such contamination, when the contamination was detected, and the procedures for timely remediation.”