Monday, July 24, 2017

Philly-area congressmen link military funds-water studies

Former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and present day Horsham Air Guard Station (AP photo) 

Danielle Fox reports for newsworks:

Three area congressmen successfully added amendments concerning drinking water contamination to a must-pass military spending bill.  The larger bill will get a vote later in the year. 
U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Philadelphia Democrat, Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican representing Bucks and part of Montgomery County, and Pat Meehan, a Republican representing parts of five counties west of Philadelphia, each announced an amendment to the House's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with the goal of changing military action on water contamination from firefighting foam.
For decades, the military used firefighting foams with perfluorinated compounds PFOS and PFOA on bases across the country. In the past several years, concern has spiked over whether the chemicals are toxic, potentially endangering local communities whose water supply may have been tainted. According to the Bucks County Courier Times, since 2014, chemical contamination from military bases has closed 16
water wells and over 200 private wells, serving 70,000 people, in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
While the military has investigated drinking water contamination, offering to pay for replacement water or filtration systems, many affected residents say they could do more. After futile attempts of calling on the military to fund a health study, the trio of area congressmen strategically folded amendments for health screenings and a study into an annual spending bill. The research could flag the health effects from exposure to the compounds, paving the way for future studies.
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