Sen. Peters discusses water contamination investigation

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President Trump signed the 2019 Military Policy Bill into law. 

One of the measures aims to stop water contamination at military bases. 

A fire-fighting foam used on military bases has literally poisoned the well. The foam contains chemicals which have been linked to cancer and other health issues. 

Senator Gary Peters says it’s not just military bases at risk but communities surrounding the installations in Michigan and around the country.

He adds, “We’re now seeing more and more incidents where this is getting into drinking water, contaminating it and people are suffering as a result of that.”

Peters worked to include a provision in the 2019 defense bill, that encourages the Defense Department to use firefighting foams without the chemicals, known as PFAS.  

He says, “We can never take safe drinking water for granted. We have to make sure we protect it.”

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense told us it was working to address the problem, and make sure military bases and surrounding areas had access to safe drinking water. 

Lucian Niemeyer is the Department of Defense spokesperson. He says, “More risky to our health than we thought.”

The group Clean Water Action says the study is a good first step because researchers still have much to learn about the chemicals. 

Lynn Thorp with the Clean Water Action says, “Any further information we can get about health effects is very, very important to be able to make sound decisions about these chemicals.”

The EPA says it’s examining PFAS in drinking water and is working on cleanup recommendations for the contaminated sites.

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