Ecology Wants Major Cleanup Of Yakima Training Center
Dozens of sites at the Yakima Training Center are contaminated by chemical spills and toxic waste according to the Washington State Department of Ecology. The department is concerned about the chemicals threatening drinking water in nearby wells. As a result the department has issued a draft enforcement order on Feb. 1 that "requires the Army to address these environmental hazards in line with state and federal standards."
Your input is wanted by the Ecology Department
The department wants the public involved. Ecology officials say they're seeking input from people on a potential investigation, a plan of action and future public input during the cleanup process. You can comment here https://hwtr.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=sNEu9 The comment period opens on February 6.
Ecology says the problem is the chemical PFAS
State officials say they've been working with the federal government at the site since 2018 but "concerns with contamination at the training site took on new urgency in 2020, when Army tests revealed unsafe levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water around the base."
PFAS is apparenlty a forever chemical
They say PFAS are frequently used in firefighting foam in places like the training center. The PFAS can seep into groundwater. They're known as forever chemicals because they wont' naturally break down and can impact human health.
A press release says currently, the Army is conducting cleanup efforts without public review or Ecology oversight.
Ecology wants more action from the US ARMY
The Army has provided bottled water to some nearby homeowners, but has "not committed to cleaning up the contamination to meet Washington standards, which are more protective than federal cleanup levels."
Ecology’s enforcement order will ensure that both the impacts linked to PFAS and concerns tied to other known contaminated sites on and around the training center are cleaned up to meet both state and federal standards.