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Upton: ‘Utterly Unacceptable and Irresponsible’ PFAS Data Hasn’t Been Released

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Washington, August 1, 2018 | Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today sent a letter to General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau and Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice, Director of the Air National Guard, urging the swift release of data related to PFAS contamination testing at the W.K. Kellogg Air National Guard Base in Battle Creek, Michigan, as well as any plans to remediate possible contamination. PFAS testing data collected on the base between April and May of this year was not shared at a public meeting on July 30.

Key excerpt: It is utterly unacceptable and irresponsible that any information on PFAS levels would be withheld from individuals who are possibly affected.

To learn more about Upton’s work to respond to the PFAS issue, please click here.

The full letter can be found here or below:

Dear General Lengyel and Lieutenant General Rice,

 I write to urge the swift release of data related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination testing at the W.K. Kellogg Air National Guard Base in Battle Creek, Michigan, as well as any plans to remediate possible contamination.

 It is utterly unacceptable and irresponsible that any information on PFAS levels could be withheld from individuals who are possibly affected. 

I understand the testing data, which was collected close to three months ago, is currently under review at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. With PFAS exposure linked to certain cancers as well as other serious health problems, it is critical that on-base testing results are expeditiously shared with state officials working on PFAS testing and remediation as well as local residents that might be impacted. This information was not made available at a public meeting on July 30.

As you know, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is in the process of testing PFAS contamination in drinking water wells surrounding the base. The agency recently released a round of testing, which found two private wells testing well-above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health advisory, and state standard, of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Additionally, in June, MDEQ received results of split samples from on-base monitoring wells that had levels as high as 21,000 ppt PFOA and 55,500 ppt PFOS, two types of PFAS.

 With tests showing on-base and off-base PFAS levels this high, the National Guard should move swiftly to share critical on-base contamination data that may be impacting off-base communities. Furthermore, every effort should be made to quickly implement necessary remediation plans to protect the health of service members, their families, and area residents.

 The Battle Creek and Kalamazoo communities have a long and successful partnership with the Air National Guard at Battle Creek, proudly hosting the guard’s critical national security mission. With this partnership in mind, I ask the National Guard leadership to make every effort to expedite the release of on-base PFAS testing data as well as any plan for contamination remediation. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your response.

 Sincerely,

 

Fred Upton

Member of Congress

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