Officers with the Protection Division and others testified yesterday about efforts to mitigate and clear up PFAS, a gaggle of chemical substances that may be dangerous to human well being.
PFOS, which is perfluorooctane sulfonate, and PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, are two chemical substances within the bigger PFAS class. The chemical substances are utilized in a firefighting foam that is named aqueous film-forming foam.
The froth is utilized by DOD and civilian firefighting organizations and different industries to quickly extinguish gas fires and defend towards catastrophic lack of life and property. The froth can be current in different objects, corresponding to furnishings and carpet.
Paul D. Cramer, principal deputy assistant secretary of protection for sustainment (Installations), offered testimony at a digital listening to of the Home Appropriations Subcommittee on Navy Development, Veterans Affairs, and Associated Companies.
DOD has an extended monitor file of responsibly addressing points by following the science and the path of Congress, he mentioned. This file contains many accomplishments and robust interagency collaboration, corresponding to with the Environmental Safety Company.
“This doesn’t imply that there is not room for enchancment, particularly within the areas of elevated transparency concerning the progress of our work,” he mentioned.
Cramer thanked Congress for offering the sources wanted to guard the well being and security of service members, their households, and the communities surrounding army installations.
“We acknowledge that our accomplishments right this moment usually are not enough alone to satisfy the challenges that we’re, that we face, and accordingly, we’re persevering with our efforts of the DOD PFAS Activity Drive,” he mentioned.
The duty pressure was established in July, 2019, to offer strategic management and path to make sure a coordinated, aggressive and holistic strategy on DOD-wide efforts to deal with PFAS.
“The duty pressure continues to diligently handle PFAS and is postured to be attentive to the path of this administration,” Cramer mentioned.
Activity pressure efforts are organized alongside three main strains of effort, he mentioned: mitigate and get rid of the usage of AFFF; clear up PFAS; and perceive the impacts of PFAS on human well being.
“The division is dedicated to addressing its PFAS releases to the setting, abiding by federal cleanup legislation,” he mentioned.
As of Sept. 30, 2020, DOD has recognized 108 installations which will have used or doubtlessly launched PFAS, and the division is conducting a PFAS evaluation at these installations, he famous.
DOD’s precedence is to shortly handle PFOS and PFOA in consuming water above the EPA lifetime well being advisory ranges of 70 components per trillion, he mentioned.
Nobody is at the moment consuming water on or off base with PFAS — together with PFOS or PFOA — above these ranges the place DOD is the identified supply, he mentioned.
DOD can be investing in analysis to develop applied sciences to quantify and clear up PFAS, Cramer mentioned.
These efforts reinforce DOD’s dedication to guard human well being, he mentioned. “Addressing the challenges of PFAS is a nationwide situation that may require nationwide options and interagency efforts.”