Military must ‘stop dragging its feet’ and work with states on PFAS cleanup in 2020
Michigan’s longest-known site with PFAS pollution prompted one provision among a wave of national steps addressing the toxins: Now the military will have to follow state guidelines.
The community of Oscoda has been pushing for cleanup at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base for years, with Sen. Gary Peters stepping in early this year to rebuke military officials for their “aggressive” posture.
Once the final version of the 2020 defense spending bill is approved within the next week, the Department of Defense will be required to both work with the state and determine a plan for cleanup, while following Michigan’s PFAS enforceable guidelines.
“This is a clear statement from Congress ... that you can’t keep dragging your feet," Peters said Tuesday morning, December 10, during a media call. “You’ll have to work in a collaborative way with state government and begin cleanup, and do that within a year."
Legislators looking ahead to a vote on the annual National Defense Authorization Act say it should be approved by mid-month. Both houses of Congress worked on versions that ended up containing multiple similar provisions to accelerate steps to regulate and cleanup PFAS contamination across the United States.