Larsen Statement on Drinking Water Testing at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island

Oct 29, 2016 Issues: Supporting our Naval Bases

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to the Navy’s announcement that it will begin voluntarily testing drinking water at and around Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and the Outlying Landing Field in Coupeville for perfluoroalkyl chemicals, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today released the following statement:

“I share and take seriously the concerns of the families living on and around Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and the Outlying Landing Field in Coupeville. I am committed to ensuring that affected communities have access to safe and clean drinking water. The Navy briefed my staff on the situation and committed to assessing and addressing the problem by testing drinking water, providing bottled water to affected residents, connecting affected homes to municipal water systems (which are unaffected), building water infrastructure where necessary and holding a series of public meetings on the Island beginning in November. Over the coming weeks I will continue to monitor this situation closely to make sure these actions are executed in a timely manner and that the concerns of local residents are heard.”

In May 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued lifetime health advisory levels for perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid – two perfluoroalkyls the Navy has historically used in firefighting foam – at 70 parts per trillion, individually and combined. The Navy plans to do similar testing at additional installations across the country.

More information about the Navy’s drinking water testing program can be found here: The Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs Office can be reached at (360) 396-1630.