Apr 13, 2020

Utah Military Bases Show PFAS Contamination

A new analysis confirms PFAS at Utah military bases

pfas contamination

Three instances of PFAS contamination were confirmed in Utah, including at Hill Air Force Base, Camp Williams and the Salt Lake City International Airport.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) alleges that 678 installations in total may have a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination issue. Another four military sites in Utah are suspected of having levels due to the Pentagon’s use of a particular type of firefighting foam.

EWG’s Rep. Dan Kildee asked for and was able to get the Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general to conduct a probe of PFAS, but that investigation has likely been delayed due to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The letter asked for the provisions of the PFAS Action Act to be incorporated into this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

According to KSL, some of the provisions include: more funding for remediation at contaminated sites;  requiring the EPA to develop a drinking water standard for certain types of the chemicals in two years; and blood testing for defense department personnel and dependents.

2019’s defense spending package included the requirement for active duty military firefighters to have their blood tested. 

In October 2018, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality formed a working group to address PFAS. Testing of drinking water systems in Utah showed no levels of the above the EPA standard of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) and there is also no history of the chemicals being manufactured in Utah. 

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