Sep 02, 2020

Ohio Governor Requests Department of Defense to Address PFAS

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine wants to make headway on preventative measures to address PFAS contamination in the region

ohio water quality

Gov. Mike DeWine requested that the U.S. Department of Defense enter into a cooperative agreement with the city of Dayton and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The goal is to better address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Ohio’s drinking water. This would also protect the Buried Valley Aquifer.

The Buried Valley Aquifer supplies drinking water to more than 2 million Southwest Ohio residents, according to Dayton Daily News. The city’s Mad River well field draws water from the Buried Valley Aquifer, which is adjacent and downstream from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Chemicals from the base come from the firefighter foam, seeping into the ground and flowing directly to the city’s well field.

“In my discussions with Mayor (Nan) Whaley of Dayton,” said Dewine in his letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, “She has expressed great concern over the potential impact to millions of Ohioans that depend on water from the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer as a source of safe drinking water if we do not work together with a greater sense of urgency and more definitive action to address PFAS contamination.”

The Buried Valley Aquifer contains about 1.5 trillion gallons of water, providing most communities in Ohio with drinking water. 

Since 2016, the city of Dayton has shut down some drinking water wells after PFAS was detected. According to city leaders, the city is working on a plan to contain the contaminated water, reported Dayton Daily News. 

According to DeWine, an agreement would ensure better coordination to achieve the following: 

  • The exchange of PFAS-related information and data;
  • Oversight over drinking water sources and finished drinking water assessments;
  • Implementing potential treatment or other measures to address PFAS contaminated drinking water near or above the current U.S. EPA Health Advisory Levels, or other future regulatory limits for PFAS contaminants in drinking water;
  • And communications with potentially affected residents and businesses located in Dayton, surrounding areas and in the vicinity of Wright-Patt.

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