Dear Friends and Colleagues,
With the recent announcement of contamination of potentially an entire city's drinking water on Whidbey Island, by a mile-long plume emanating in multiple directions from the Navy base and from their OLF-Coupeville runway, we wondered: what's likely to happen now? Will the Navy clean up their mess? So we did some research, and were shocked by the extent of the problem. The answer is: probably not much will be done, except to monitor it and continue with the Navy-supplied bottled water. We found that at least 6 million people in 33 states (not counting international locations) are dealing with contamination of their drinking water by chemicals in Aqueous Film-Forming Foam used by the US military for firefighting and training. The perfluorinated compounds in this foam are among the most carcinogenic substances known. This is a recently emerging issue to the public, but the military's knowledge that the chemicals are harmful is apparently decades old. For what it's worth, while the foam is used at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in conjunction with the Growler jets, the Navy's most recent Growler EIS did not mention perfluorinated compound use or contamination.
It's a thorny problem that will require political and/or legislative action and new policy. Some state legislatures are passing laws, but a national approach is warranted, given the size of the problem. An organization called the Center for Public Environmental Oversight has been extremely helpful in tracking these contamination issues: http://cpeo.org
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Thank you for your continued efforts to hold our government accountable; your voice is needed now more than ever before.