$200 Million Secured to Clean Up PFAS Chemicals at Former Military Bases

U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) announced on July 14 he has helped secure $200 million to clean up harmful per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at former military bases around the country.

The funding for PFAS cleanup is included in the fiscal year 2021 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which the House is set to vote on soon.

The bill would provide an additional $200 million for the Base Realignment and Closure account to clean up PFAS compared to last year’s funding. This is the third consecutive year there has been an increase in funding to clean up PFAS at former military bases. In FY2019, there was an increase of $14 million, and in FY2020, an additional $60 million.

Earlier this year, Kildee led a letter to the Appropriations Committee asking for increased funding to clean up PFAS at military bases. His district in Michigan is home to Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

“Clean drinking water is a human right, and this funding will help to clean up PFAS contamination in communities across the country who are struggling with these toxic chemicals,” Kildee said. “I want to thank Chairwoman (Nita) Lowey and Chairwoman (Debbie) Wasserman Schultz for working with me to include this important funding.”

Kildee has worked with Republicans and Democrats at all levels of government to address PFAS contamination. Earlier this year, he introduced the Test Your Well Water Act with Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin), Antonio Delgado (D-New York), and Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan), legislation supported by NGWA.

The bill streamlines the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s resources to help people potentially exposed to PFAS.

“This funding is a good step forward in remediating these sites and hopefully controlling the spread of PFAS to their surrounding communities,” said NGWA Government Affairs Committee Chairman Brian Snelten, PG. “I’m proud of the work NGWA has done with the Congressional PFAS Task Force and am thankful to those in Congress who have made PFAS a priority.”

NGWA and its members advocated for working solutions relating to PFAS during the 2020 NGWA Groundwater Fly-In and Water Resources Congressional Summit in March in Washington, D.C.

The Association is also hosting the virtual online event, Fate of PFAS: From Groundwater to Tap Water Conference, on August 5, 12, and 19.

For more information about PFAS, visit the NGWA’s PFAS resource center.