Mar 30, 2020

U.S. Department of Defense Finds PFAS Chemicals in 651 Installations

The Department of Defense has released new data showing more than 600 military sites are contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) 

drinking water

According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), PFAS chemicals may have been used or released at 651 of its installations.

This is 50% more than initially reported.

A progress report released by the DoD’s PFAS Task Force said the increase represents smaller installations across the Army and Army National Guard. 

Previous reports counted only 401 installations, including several in Indiana. Initial reporting included only installations with potentially significant historic use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF).

The updated list of installations identified by DOD can be found here.

“The Task Force supports ongoing outreach activities that involve coordinating and collaborating with other Federal agencies and communicating to the public, Congress, and other stakeholders about the Department’s efforts to find an alternative to AFFF, understand and address the impacts to human health from PFAS, and clean up PFAS releases caused by past DoD activities,” said the report.

The outreach activities have included or will include: 

  • Developing and maintaining PFAS information and a list of frequently asked questions and answers; 
  • Providing materials to Installation Commanders to help them understand and communicate about PFAS
  • Establishing a DoD PFAS website (https://www.defense.gov/pfas/) for PFAS-related information

If there was drinking water exposure to PFOS/PFOA above EPA’s lifetime Health Advisory, resulting from DoD activities, the Department proactively initiated short-term actions, such as providing bottled water and point of use filters. Long-term actions include municipal connections,  and filtration systems, according to the report. 

According to the report, the Task Force is: evaluating and establishing policy positions and reporting requirements; encouraging and accelerating research and development, and ensuring the DoD Components are addressing and communicating about PFAS in a consistent, open, and transparent matter.

Read related content about PFAS in drinking water: 

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