WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) has introduced a pair of bipartisan amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) relating to water contamination near the former Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster, the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Horsham, and the Horsham Air Guard Station. An estimated 70,000 Pennsylvanians in Bucks and Montgomery counties have been impacted by the presence of perfluorinated compounds like PFOA and PFOS contaminating public and private drinking water wells.
The NDAA is an annual federal legislation responsible for setting the budget and expenditures for the Department of Defense. The two amendments include:
- Amendment #37 instructs the Secretary of Defense to consult with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to carry out a study on any health effects experienced by those exposed to PFOS/PFOA at military installations or former military installations.
- Amendment #38 instructs the Secretary of Defense to enter into partnerships with state and local governments for the cleanup of covered wells contaminated with PFOS/PFOA. The Department of Defense is authorized to provide the State or local government funding for the cleanup or remediation using filtration systems.
“Perfluorinated compounds, namely perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), have been found in communities surrounding over 600 military installations nationwide – including several in my own district. While the military does not dispute its responsibility for the well contamination, the response thus far has been unacceptable,” said Fitzpatrick. “These amendments aim to pave the way for cleanups and remediation efforts, as well as provide Americans critical information about the impact these unregulated chemicals may have on their health. These commonsense measures should be included in the NDAA.”
The measures are supported by representatives Patrick Meehan (PA-07) and Brendan Boyle (PA-13). The House Committee on Rules will review the submitted amendments before determining what amendments are germane to the legislation. Approved amendments will be debated and voted on the House floor later this Summer.