Bergman Questions Top Defense Official on PFAS Contamination at Michigan Bases

During today's House Armed Services Committee hearing, Congressman Jack Bergman questioned Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and General Joseph Dunford about PFAS contamination across the First District of Michigan. Congressman Bergman issued the following release:     

"PFAS contamination is an emerging threat across the First District of Michigan and throughout the country. Every family has the right to know that the water they drink is clean and safe. I appreciate Acting Secretary Shanahan's statement today, and his commitment to addressing this issue. With multiple known PFAS contamination sites - including Alpena, Grayling, Marquette, and Escanaba - this emerging water crisis significantly impacts Michigan’s First District. Government at all levels, across the country, should work to address this epidemic and protect our impacted communities," said Bergman. 

During his line of questioning, Congressman Bergman asked if the Department of Defense believed we should find ways to address PFAS at both National Guard and Active Duty facilities, how DOD is working with other agencies to address this issue, and what Congress can do to support DOD in this effort. 

Acting Secretary Shanahan stated, “We need to address the issue of PFAS/PFOA contamination in all of our communities. This is a significant health and environmental risk. The Department is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to harmonize the standards. Our focus has been  to substitute and eliminate the fire retardants. We no longer test, we no longer train, we no longer do research with those chemicals.”

The entire House Armed Services Committee hearing can be found HERE. Rep. Bergman's questioning begins at the 55 minute mark. 

Congressman Jack Bergman served in the United States Marine Corps for 40 years, as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, and most recently as Commander of Marine Forces North/Marine Forces Reserve. He retired in 2009 at the rank of Lieutenant General. After being elected in November 2016, Bergman became the highest ranking combat Veteran ever elected to Congress.

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