A Defense Department task force reports that cleanup of chemical contaminants at more than 400 current and former military sites may exceed an earlier estimate of $2 billion, according to an article from Stars and Stripes. The new cost assessment coincides with claims from an environmental watchdog group regarding perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, reportedly found in drinking water at military installations.
According to the article, the task force is working with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) on studies of eight U.S. Air Force installations or former installations and their surrounding communities. The primary issue for the Pentagon is drinking water contaminated by Aqueous Film Forming Foam, or AFFF, and the impact of PFAS on Defense Department firefighters. Use of the foam was reportedly banned in 2016 for training events at bases, although it is still used to fight actual fires.
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