Friday, August 20, 2021

These Mid-Atlantic bases have toxic levels of cancer-linked chemicals, report finds


Hundreds of military installations show unsafe levels of toxic “forever chemicals” in their ground water, including a handful along the Chesapeake Bay, according to a study released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group.

Using Defense Department records, researchers noted that there are eight bases with between 0.8 and 2.2 million parts per trillion of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, compared to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit of 70 parts per trillion.

“The chemicals have seeped into the bay, affecting its wildlife, and potentially harming residents’ food supply and livelihoods,” according to the report. “The contamination underscores the need for swift DoD cleanup.”

Affected sites include Aberdeen Proving Ground, Naval Research Laboratory Blossom Point, Martin State Airport Air National Guard Base, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, the Naval Academy and Naval Research Laboratory Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, as well as Joint Base Langley-Eustis and Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Virginia.

Five of those installations show PFAS contamination above 70 parts per trillion.

Langley, home to Air Force fighter squadrons, reported the highest contamination rate, at more than 2.2 million parts per trillion. PFAS contamination in the military is largely attributed to the used of aqueous film-forming foam, a flame retardant used to put out aircraft and vehicle fires.

All of the sites, save Aberdeen and Blossom Point, are in some stage of remediation, whether it’s investigations or assessments.


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