A new Pentagon list of Army installations has been added to the growing number of military bases where PFAS chemicals have been detected in ground water as recently as this year, Military Times reports.
Ninety active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard bases are on the new list, which the Environmental Working Group (EWG) acquired by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), according to the report.
The list comes as a new Pentagon task force ordered by Defense Secretary Mark Esper is examining the problem of PFAS contamination on military bases, as On Base previously reported.
The Army has said the confirmed PFAS presence in the drinking water of the new list of installations does not include unsafe contamination levels of the chemicals because current filtering complies with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, according to the Military Times report.
In their FOIA request response, the Army stated it has tested drinking water throughout its installations and is filtering it under the EPA’s prescribed “lifetime healthy advisory” limit, which is 70 parts-per-trillion for two types of PFAS.
“There are currently no Army personnel or families drinking water with levels of PFOS/PFOA above the LHA,” wrote Army Senior Counsel Paul DeAgostino.
The new list adds to previously identified bases to total 297 installations, 108 of which are Army posts. Fort Leavenworth, Kan., tops the Army’s list with 10 types of PFAS, according to Army data.
The next most contaminated installations are the National Guard’s Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, Calif., and Belmont Armory, Mich.
The PFAS contaminants, perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate, referred to as “forever chemicals” have been linked to cancer and other health issues, according to the EPA.
Air Force photo by Greg Davis