WASHINGTON Today, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, member of the House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, U.S. Senators Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee and Chris Coons (All D-Del.) sent a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett, requesting a site visit to Dover Air Force Base to address the per – and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) discovered in certain private and commercial groundwater sources near the northwestern and eastern boundaries of the base. The letter is a follow-up to a communication the delegation sent last July to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, requesting a site visit. 

“The two recent and additional discoveries of contaminated commercial wells near the airbase underscore the importance of a senior Air Force official visiting Dover AFB and publicly briefing the local community, Delaware state government, and the congressional delegation on the plans for PFAS mitigation surrounding the airbase,” the delegation wrote. “Such a briefing should include plans to provide permanent municipal water sources to the surrounding community, current or planned remediation efforts, and other efforts undertaken and proposed by the Department of Defense that may affect the Dover, Delaware community.”

 

Text of the letter can be found here or below. 

March 9, 2020 

Dear Secretary Barrett:

We write to follow-up on our July 31, 2019 letter requesting a site visit of the Dover Air Force Base (Dover AFB) by you or a knowledgeable delegate from the Department of the Air Force.   The visit would provide us all with an opportunity to discuss contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances on and surrounding Dover AFB.

The two recent and additional discoveries of contaminated commercial wells near the airbase underscore the importance of a senior Air Force official visiting Dover AFB and publicly briefing the local community, Delaware state government, and the congressional delegation on the plans for PFAS mitigation surrounding the airbase. Such a briefing should include plans to provide permanent municipal water sources to the surrounding community, current or planned remediation efforts, and other efforts undertaken and proposed by the Department of Defense that may affect the Dover, Delaware community.

We wish to thank the Dover AFB and your Department for their efforts to address the contamination presently affecting the local community, including the improved transparency they have provided local and federal stakeholders. While much work remains to be done, providing a senior official to explain the immediate and long-term plans for remediation, to answer questions, and to address any concerns will further improve the relationship between the airbase and the local community.

We will continue to advocate for strong federal laws to address PFAS contamination stemming from the military and other sources, as well as the tools the military and the community need to address PFAS contamination.

We ask that you please respond to this letter no later than March 27, 2020, and we thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

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