Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that several of his amendments have been successfully adopted to and passed within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senator Casey’s amendments would help ensure safe drinking water in communities impacted by PFC contamination and would require the U.S. to move away from dependence on Russian energy in bases across Europe.
“I am pleased that several of the provisions which I helped introduce were included in this bill,” said Senator Casey. “These bipartisan amendments will do a great deal to ensure a safer, stronger nation. Communities across the country can be confident that the appropriate resources are being allocated to address the issue of PFC contamination.”
Details on these amendments are below:
An Amendment To Address PFC Water Contamination / Implement A Health Study Requirement:
Senator Casey wrote a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee in support of efforts to authorize a CDC-led study on the impact of PFAS on human health. Senator Shaheen’s (D-NH) efforts in committee, with Senator Casey’s support, led to the authorization of $7 million to begin a five year study.
This amendment, introduced with Senator Toomey (R-PA), requires an interim step – a shorter term requirement for biomonitoring in a handful of communities affected by PFAS contamination. Pennsylvanians have been calling for biomonitoring for some time to get some answers about who has been directly impacted by the contamination and is at risk for negative health effects. The bill requires biomonitoring to begin within 6 months and conclude within two years. CDC would conduct the biomonitoring at eight domestic current or former military installations. The intent is that the results of the biomonitoring would help CDC inform the broader nationwide health study already authorized in the base bill.
Amendments To Increase Water Contamination Cleanup Funds:
Senator Casey helped secure increased funding for the accounts that support cleanup and remediation of contamination at and around military installations, like those in Horsham, Warminster and Warrington. Amendments introduced with Senators Cantwell (D-WA), Bennet (D-CO), and Capito (R-WV) would increase funding for the Navy Environmental Restoration account by $41,600,000 to a total of $323,000,000 and the Air Force Environmental Restoration account by $20,000,000 to a total of $313,749,000. The bill also includes an additional $5M for the Navy Reserve and $30M for the Air National Guard accounts that support environmental cleanup with a requirement that the services report on how that money will be used for PFAS contamination cleanup. Impacted communities in Pennsylvania include Horsham Air National Guard Station and the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base – Willow Grove.
An Amendment To Help Relieve Dependence On Russian Energy:
This amendment, introduced with Senator Toomey (R-PA), requires the Department of Defense to take steps to ensure that all U.S. military installations in Europe are able to use energy sourced entirely outside of Russia over the next five years. As part of its campaign to destabilize Ukraine and project aggression around Europe, Russia has threatened the energy supply to Europe, where the U.S. military has thousands of servicemembers deployed. Our military bases must be able to operate in the event of an energy supply disruption.