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Ducey calls for DoD to address groundwater contamination near Arizona military facilities

Luke AFB water contamination
Posted at 10:40 AM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 14:01:45-04

Governor Doug Ducey is calling on the Department of Defense to address the Pentagon-related groundwater contamination that has been impacting military facilities in Arizona.

In a release Tuesday, Ducey requested the DoD to identify and treat water in Arizona that was contaminated in the areas surrounding four military facilities.

The four facilities where groundwater has been impacted are Luke Air Force Base, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Morris Air National Guard Base and the former Williams Air Force Base.

Ducey added that two of the military facilities are close to businesses and residential communities, impacting thousand of Arizonans who rely on clean groundwater for drinking.

"Ensuring that all Arizonans have the cleanest possible drinking water from public water systems today and for our future is critical for our health and well-being and a top priority of our state,” said Governor Ducey. “The situation in Arizona deserves attention. Arizona, through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, is acting to contain the spread of PFAS now, and I ask you to make a similar commitment on behalf of DOD for prompt remedial actions to address the DOD-related PFAS contamination of groundwater throughout Arizona and protect the health and safety of Arizonans.”

PFOA and PFOS are synthetic compounds found in industrial and consumer products, including foam used to extinguish fires. It was used since 1970 at Luke AFB, but has since been replaced with a more environmentally friendly formula, the Air Force says.

To avoid exposure to PFAS from other DoD facilities in the state, Ducey is asking the DoD the following:

  1. Share PFAS data related to Arizona installations to help determine the extent of PFAS impacts.
  2. Develop a preliminary conceptual site model for each DOD facility based on available groundwater, geological and facility data.
  3. Estimate a preliminary time range for when DOD-related PFAS plumes may reach public drinking water systems.
  4. Conduct accelerated remedial investigations with the primary purpose of designing early response actions to stop the PFAS plumes.
  5. Design and install early response actions to protect public drinking water systems at risk from DOD-related PFAS.

In March, a representative from the Valley Water Utilities Company told the Arizona Corporation Commission, chemical contamination from Luke Air Force Base was first detected in 2016.

The U.S. Air Force gave out bottled water to 1,600 West Valley families after it discovered toxic chemicals, which are no longer used at Luke Air Force Base, managed to make their way into the water supply.