WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan brought Andrea Amico of Portsmouth to testify before a Senate hearing on the Department of Defense’s (DoD) shortcomings in addressing PFAS contamination at military bases. Amico, a co-founder of the advocacy group Testing for Pease, spoke of her family’s exposure to PFAS chemicals at the former Pease Air Force Base and her subsequent efforts to mitigate PFAS contamination.
You can read more below from Seacoast Online, which highlighted that in response to questioning by Senator Hassan, Amico urged the DoD to host routine listening sessions. In addition, both Hassan and Amico called on the DoD to provide alternative water sources to communities where PFAS contamination levels are higher than New Hampshire’s PFAS standard but lower than the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold.
Click here or see below for highlights in Seacoast Online.
By Jeff McMenemy
Portsmouth environmental activist Andrea Amico testified at a U.S. Senate Committee hearing in Washington Thursday, urging Department of Defense officials to share more information about PFAS contamination with impacted communities.
Amico, who was invited to testify by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, called for DOD “to improve transparency in releasing comprehensive data on PFAS to communities, not just regulated compounds or the EPA health advisories.”
[…] Hassan invited Amico to testify before Thursday’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which was held to address shortcomings in the DOD’s response to PFAS contamination.
In response to a question posed by Hassan, Amico encouraged DOD officials to host “routine listening sessions, with DOD leadership officials and with impacted PFAS community leaders.”
Amico also called for the DOD to work to improve relationships with local Restoration Advisory Boards (RABs) and Restoration Advisory Committees (RACs).
Those relationships, she said, should be “focused on trust and collaboration” and too often “they’re often hostile and there’s a lot of mistrust.”
PFAS community leaders have also requested a meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Amico said.
“It would be critically important … to meet with community leaders to hear from people who are most affected by the problem as to what our needs are and what solutions we need from DOD,” Amico said.
Both Hassan and Amico called for the DOD to provide alternative water sources to homeowners near the former base who have PFAS levels in their wells that are higher than state regulations but lower than the EPA's advisories.
[…] Hassan also stated during the Senate hearing “it’s vital that communities have confidence that when the Defense Department identifies emerging contaminants, that the department reacts quickly to protect the health of those in exposed communities.”