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PFAS Community Outreach Information


October 2020

PFAS are a family of thousands of different chemicals which have been widely used in industrial and consumer products since the 1950s. The Navy developed a proactive policy to address past releases of PFAS at installations nationwide, as several PFAS are now of emerging public health concern. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a lifetime health advisory for two commonly used and studied PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The EPA’s lifetime health advisories are non‐enforceable and non‐regulatory and are established to provide people, including the most sensitive populations, with a margin of protection from a lifetime exposure to PFOS and PFOA from drinking water.

The most common Navy activity that could have resulted in the historical release of PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS to the environment is the use of firefighting foam (specifically aqueous film forming foam or AFFF) for training, firefighting, and other life-saving emergency responses.

In response to the EPA’s lifetime health advisory, the Department of the Navy is implementing a comprehensive strategy to manage and address PFOS and PFOA in the following areas:

·         Drinking Water on Navy Installations

·         Impacted private drinking water off installation

·         Conducting assessments and investigations to develop cleanup plans

·         Replacing Fire Fighting Foam containing PFOS and PFOA

Over the past several years, NWS Earle has been conducting a focused PFAS investigation at our Military Sealift Command Fire Training School where PFAS foam may have been historically used for training. NWS Earle will also initiate a base wide PFAS investigation within the next several months.

For more information concerning the Navy’s protective policy please visit:   

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