Defense Secretary launches PFAS Task Force

Focus areas for the Task Force include health aspects; clean up standards and performance; finding/funding an effective substitute firefighting foam without PFAS, and more.

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Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

WASHINGTON, DC, JULY 26, 2019 -- Dr. Mark T. Esper was sworn in as the U.S. Secretary of Defense on July 23, and one of his first orders of business will be to create a PFAS Task Force, MLive reports.

“The Department is committed to taking a strong and proactive stance to address the effects arising out of any releases of these substances from all defense activities including the National Guard and Reserves,” Esper wrote in a memo on his swearing-in day. "We must approach the problem in an aggressive and holistic way, ensuring a coordinated DoD-wide approach to the issue. "

Focus areas for the Task Force include: health aspects; clean up standards and performance; finding/funding an effective substitute firefighting foam without PFAS; science-supported standards for exposure and clean up; interagency coordination; and public/Congress perceptions of DoD’s effort.

The task force will be chaired by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment; and will report on its composition and charter within 30 days, and provide an update within 180 days, Esper wrote.

The military has spent more than $200 million on PFAS mitigation so far, according to national reports.

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