No end in sight for PFC cleanup at Horsham base
Representatives of the U.S. Navy and Air National Guard updated the public Wednesday on their departments’ efforts to investigate and eventually clean the chemicals, during a quarterly environmental meeting for the former NASJRB Willow Grove and current Horsham Air Guard Station.
At Wednesday’s meeting at the Horsham Library, Willie Lin, an environmental coordinator with the Navy, could not give a definitive answer when asked when contamination will be cleaned.
He added that approximately 500 private wells near NASJRB Willow Grove have been sampled to date, with 95 exceeding the 70 ppt limit.
Lin said the Navy is currently engaged in a “remedial” environmental investigation, where it continues to test area soil, groundwater and surface waterways for the chemicals.
Lin added that no soil removal levels for the chemicals have been developed.
While the military’s investigation of the extent of the contamination continues, officials said some actions meant to limit continued contamination of off-base waterways have occurred in the meantime.
Sampling results provided at the meeting showed the system appears to be effective: While water coming from the basin contains about 11,700 ppt, the water entering Park Creek after treatment showed just 2 ppt.
Christine Lloyd, a regional representative of the ATSDR, pointed to President Donald Trump’s signing this week of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, a military spending bill that includes $7 million to begin a five-year, nationwide health study on communities exposed to PFOS and PFOA from military sites.
Tied to health concerns is the military’s use of the EPA’s 70-ppt health advisory level.
“Sir, that’s what I’m told,” Lin said when asked why the Navy uses 70 ppt.