PFAS VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

Due to social distancing restrictions, we are providing this virtual open house for you to learn more about how the Army is addressing PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances) at Yakima Training Center. We can answer your questions by phone or email. And if there is enough interest from the community, we can set up a virtual meeting using a teleconference or online meeting software.

 

Questions & Comments

Reach us at:

Joint Base Lewis-McChord
JBLM Public Works Restoration Program Division
253-477-3742                                

usarmy.jblm.id-readiness.list.dpw.ED-IRP@mail.mil                         

Information Repository

Yakima Central Library, 102 North 3rd Street, Yakima, WA 98901

LATEST NEWS

YTC News Release 19 July 2021

 

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

 

WHAT IS PFAS?

PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl substances) refers to a class of man-made chemicals in commerce, including Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), and more. PFOA and PFOS are the most extensively studied and historically the most widely-used throughout the U.S.

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR DRINKING WATER IS SAFE? FOR YTC NEIGHBORS? FOR YTC EMPLOYEES?

For our YTC neighbors, we know that PFAS was released on Yakima Training Center. We will use the best science available to identify where there is a hydrogeologic connection to the groundwater that is used for drinking water in private wells off the installation and we will sample those. If your water isn’t in the sampling plan, there is no evidence to suggest your water contains PFAS released from YTC sources.

For people who work or train at Yakima Training Center: Drinking water wells on YTC are dug deep, were tested, and were determined to meet all federal and state drinking water standards. PFAS is not in YTC drinking water above the EPA’s lifetime health advisory levels.

WHAT ABOUT MY HOUSE? WHEN IS THE ARMY GOING TO TEST MY WELL?

The Army is committed to identifying, evaluating, and addressing impacts resulting from its activities to ensure the health and safety of the communities in which we serve. The Army is taking a proactive, measured approach to sampling off-post wells. During the site inspection phase and throughout the cleanup process, we will assess whether drinking water wells may be impacted by Army PFAS releases. If the site inspection indicates your well might be impacted, the Army could then sample the well.

HOW LONG HAVE PEOPLE BEEN DRINKING WATER IMPACTED BY PFAS?

For landowners who have homes just off the west side of the YTC cantonment, we are currently in the discovery stages of PFAS release into the groundwater, and we don’t know whether people have been drinking water impacted by PFAS. This is why it is necessary to test wells at this time.

For people who work or train at Yakima Training Center: Drinking water wells on YTC are dug deep, were tested, and were determined to meet all federal and state drinking water standards. PFAS is not in YTC drinking water above the EPA’s lifetime health advisory levels.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF PFAS AND YTC?

PFAS is an emerging chemical of concern. Beginning in the 1950s, common use of PFAS have been in heat-, stain-, grease- and water-resistant products, such as carpets, clothing, upholstery fabrics, paper packaging for food, and cookware. PFAS have also been part of the chemical makeup of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), an important product used by military and civilian firefighting units since 1970 to suppress fuel fires.

PFAS TIMELINE

WHILE YOU ARE INVESTIGATING PFAS ON-SITE AND PRIOR TO MY DRINKING WATER WELL RESULTS, CAN I DRINK THE WATER?

Because we don’t currently have any information to suggest that your private well contains PFAS, or at what level, we can’t make a recommendation until we know more about the potential release of PFAS off-post. For more information, talk to your local health department or physician or click here.

WHAT IS THE ARMY DOING FOR PEOPLE WITH DRINKING WATER ABOVE EPA'S LIFETIME HEALTH ADVISORY LEVELS?

If validated results show that drinking water contains PFOA/PFOS above the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory Level (70 parts per trillion) from an Army source, the Army will provide an alternate water supply until a long-term solution is implemented.

COULD THE PFAS CONTAMINATION FROM THIS INSTALLATION BE CAUSING MY FAMILY'S BAD HEALTH? WHAT ARE THE KNOWN RISKS OF EXPOSURE TO PFAS?

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, some scientific studies suggest that certain PFAS may affect different systems in the body. ATSDR is working with various agencies to better understand how exposure to PFAS might affect people's health, especially how exposure to PFAS in water and food may be harmful. Additional information about the effects of PFAS can be found at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (link to click here) and the ATSDR PFAS Frequently Asked Questions (link to click here)

HOW WILL YOU OBTAIN THE SAMPLES?

With the help of the landowners off-post, we will work to identify drinking water wells that may need to be sampled and tested. Once the wells are identified, a contractor will visit each home to collect water samples to analyze.

WHEN WILL YOU BEGIN SAMPLING?

We anticipate that we will begin collecting samples of water from landowners drinking water wells mid-summer 2021. A press release will be issued to local newspapers and published on this website in advance of the sampling.

HOW LONG BEFORE WE KNOW THE RESULTS OF THE SAMPLING?

Once the samples are collected from the drinking water wells it will take another 60-90 days for the results to come back.

WHAT WILL YOU DO IF THERE IS PFAS IN OUR AREA/PROPERTY?

All landowners whose wells are sampled and analyzed will be notified in writing of validated off-post sampling results. A press release will be issued to local newspaper and published on this website providing the summary of sampling results, though no specific results will be included.

WHAT IS A LIFETIME HEALTH ADVISORY LEVEL?

The EPA establishes health advisory levels. Please click here for more information.

WHAT DOES PARTS-PER-TRILLION MEAN?

1 part per trillion (ppt) is equivalent to a single drop of water in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

IS PFAS HARMFUL TO PETS, LIVESTOCK, OR AGRICULTURE?

We recommend you contact the Washington Department of Agriculture at (360) 902-1800 for information, or visit their website at https://agr.wa.gov/