Pennsylvania Lawmaker Urges Hearing on Groundwater Contamination

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Urges Hearing on Groundwater Contamination

Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle (D) is calling for a congressional hearing to investigate potential groundwater contamination at more than 600 sites at former and active military installations across the country stemming from chemicals in firefighting foam.

In a written statement, Boyle acknowledged that DOD is assessing groundwater samples from affected sites for perfluorinated compounds and beginning voluntary remediation.

“However, despite the serious health risks posed by prolonged exposure to and accumulation of PFOS and PFOA in potable water sources on these sites, the response has lacked the urgency I believe is necessary to address this public health threat. These investigation and cleanup efforts are seriously undermined by a lack of urgency on the part of the DOD,” Boyle said.

The first term congressman’s Philadelphia-area district includes two former installations — Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster — where elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds were found in about 100 public and private wells in 2013 and 2014.

“Concern among Horsham’s residents has significantly increased since the EPA tightened its health advisory guideline for these contaminants in our drinking water,” Boyle said. In May, EPA released new lifetime exposure health advisories for PFOS and for PFOA, reported the Intelligencer.

Boyle sent his request for a hearing to the chair and ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, of which he is a member.

“While I appreciate the EPA’s heightened scrutiny of these contaminants and the Navy’s commitment to monitoring wells and taking implicated wells offline, I believe officials have thus far failed to present adequate information to the public regarding the latest science and known health risks posed to our community,” Boyle said.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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