Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), following reports that area residents have been exposed to contaminated drinking water, announced that he has written letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense, urging them to work swiftly on this matter. Chemicals with potentially adverse effects on human health, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), were present in the drinking water of certain Pennsylvanian communications, leading residents of those areas to question whether the chemicals could have made them sick after potentially decades-long exposure.
“It is important that the Department of Defense partner closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and local authorities to effectively communicate with local residents about the contamination and to fully implement remediation measures in a timely fashion,” Senator Casey said. “Transparent, frequent, and timely communication with facility employees and local residents is critical.”
Senator Casey requested remedial steps from both the DOD and EPA. He asks DOD for their attention to reports of chemicals being found in water near military installations where a specific firefighting foam was used and also to direct all the military services to expeditiously implement a program to test drinking water sources near relevant sites, inform residents of any contamination, and begin remediation efforts. Casey further pushed DOD to accelerate initiatives to develop new, effective methods of fire suppression that do not have the potential for adverse effects on human health and the environment. Casey also requested EPA investigate other potential sites throughout the Commonwealth where firefighting foam may regularly be used.