Inspector general to review DOD's use of PFAS

Inspector general to review DOD's use of PFAS
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The inspector general at the Department of Defense (DOD) agreed in a letter released Tuesday to review the agency’s history with a class of cancer-linked chemicals that have leached into the water supply near military bases across the country.

Known as PFAS, the chemicals are widely used in products such as firefighting foam, heavily used by the military.

The review comes after a request from Rep. Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeOvernight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' from major defense policy bill EPA touts Great Lakes funding after Trump tried to ax the program MORE (D-Mich.) and more than 30 other lawmakers who asked for the Office of the Inspector General to examine how long the military knew of the harmful side effects of PFAS, how DOD has communicated those risks to service members and their families who may have been exposed, and how DOD is formulating its plan to assess and solve the problem.

The inspector general agreed to a review concerns related to PFAS and hopes to complete the evaluation by January. 

Lawmakers have been putting increasing pressure on the military to address PFAS contamination that has been found at more than 400 sites.

“We are concerned about the public health impact of PFAS on not only service members and their families living on or near military bases, but also on citizens in surrounding communities,” Kildee wrote in a July letter requesting the review. “It appears the scope of the problem far outweighs the current allocated resources and focus of the DOD, despite Congress’ attempt to provide additional resources for clean-up.”

Both the House and Senate versions of the defense policy bill would require DOD to take greater action on PFAS, but a final version of the bill has not yet been released by the conference committee.