ACTION ALERT: Keep Pollution Cleanup in Pentagon Budget
Sonya Lunder / Sierra Club
(September 9, 2019) — Right now, Congress has a real chance to pass strong and urgent protections against thousands of virtually unregulated, toxic “forever chemicals” contaminating the water of more than 100 million people in the U.S. – it’s a public health crisis. Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are widely used to make consumer products, and for firefighting at military bases and airports. PFAS are accumulating in our bodies and the environment, so we need to act quickly.
PFAS are linked to deadly diseases like thyroid cancer, they harm the immune and reproductive systems, damage the developing fetus, and may permanently compromise children’s brain development and behavior. More than 400 contamination sites exist in the country — and many are on or near military bases.
This month, House and Senate leaders will meet behind closed doors to hammer out the final military spending bill. Take action now and tell them we want all the strong amendments that address the PFAS crisis.
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a bipartisan, military spending bill that includes several pieces to regulate widespread PFAS use and contamination. Congress is meeting soon behind closed doors to negotiate which of the PFAS amendments, if any, make it in the final bill. Implementing these urgent safeguards will help to protect service members, families, and children in affected communities.
Even though bipartisan votes and public pressure have gotten us this far, Trump has threatened to veto it over provisions that end the use of PFAS in military fire fighting, and require the Air Force to provide non-contaminated water to farmers, and dairies. Congress must not give into Trump’s veto threat, they need to pass a strong NDAA with ALL provisions to regulate PFAS.
For years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the military have known about PFAS contamination and failed to protect communities. It’s time for Congress to act and hold them accountable in requiring chemical companies and the military to cleanup PFAS contamination.
The controlling the spread of these dangerous chemicals is not only necessary, it’s achievable. But we need your help.
Sonya Lunder is Senior Toxics Policy Advisor for Gender, Equity, & Environment at the Sierra Club.
PFAS Cleanup Progress in Wisconsin
Public Meeting on Badger Cleanup Set for September 17, 2019
The Army is planning to hold a public meeting of the Badger Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) on Tuesday, September 17, at 6 p.m. at the Sauk Prairie School District’s River Arts Center, 105 Ninth Street, in Prairie du Sac. The community is invited.
At the meeting, the Army will update the community on the latest groundwater monitoring, residential well sampling, Gruber’s Grove Bay remediation, and the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study for groundwater.
Gov. Evers Signs Executive Order on PFAS in Wisconsin
CSWAB is pleased to report that on August 22, Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #40 to address the issue of PFAS in Wisconsin. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a large group of approximately 5,000 synthetic chemicals used in a large number of consumer products and industrial applications.
The major types of human exposure sources for PFAS include contaminated drinking water and ingesting food contaminated with PFAS, including fish and shellfish. Research now shows probable links between PFAS exposure and cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Want to help? Sign our online petition calling for a national ban on the production and use of PFAS.
Newer PFAS Chemicals May Pose More Risks Than Those They Replaced
A new peer-reviewed study refutes claims by the chemical industry that the next generation of toxic fluorinated compounds, or PFAS, is safer than two notorious PFAS chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases that were pulled off the U.S. market.
The study by a team of scientists at Auburn University, published in the Chemical Engineering Journal, says so-called short-chain PFAS compounds are “more widely detected, more persistent and mobile in aquatic systems, and thus may pose more risks on the human and ecosystem health” than their long-chain predecessors.
The most notorious long-chain PFAS chemicals are PFOA, formerly used to make DuPont’s Teflon, and PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard. They were phased out in the U.S. under pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency after revelations of their health hazards.
The complete scientific study is posted here.
Forever Chemicals a Growing Health Threat in NE Wisconsin
Dale Forbis / Public News Service – WI
The discovery of chemicals linked to cancer, hypertension and other health problems in groundwater has scientists and people living near Marinette calling for more testing. PFAS, often referred to as “forever chemicals,” have been found in the groundwater near a Tyco Fire Products plant.
So far in 2019, scientists have tested 130 private wells in northeastern Wisconsin. They found elevated PFAS levels in 11 wells, and detected the chemicals in 26 others.
Jeff Lamont, a retired hydrologist, said the compounds have been found in his well. He said they break down slowly in the environment, stay in your body for the rest of your life, and have been linked to serious medical problems.
Complete story posted here.
Laura Olah is the Executive Director of Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger, E12629 Weigand’s Bay South, Merrimac, WI 53561 www.facebook.com/cswab.org | www.twitter.com/CSWAB
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.