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Military still working to clean-up harmful chemicals

PFAS use identified at 108 installations
177th Fighter Wing firefighter training
Posted at 9:01 AM, Mar 30, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Defense Department says it is still working to clean-up the use of chemicals used in firefighting foam that can be harmful to human health.

Military leaders were pressed about the perfluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS, that have been found to contaminate ground drinking water during a hearing last week before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.

PFAS are used in aqueous film forming foam that is considered very effective in fighting aircraft fuel fires.

In 2016, the chemicals were found in the groundwater around Fentress Field in Chesapeake.

A Department of Defense PFAS Task Force was established in July 2019 to address the issue across the country.

So far, at least 108 installations have been identified as having used or potentially released PFAS and assessments are underway.

During the Congressional hearing, military leaders faced criticism from some lawmakers who say the Defense Department is still not doing enough to address the issue.