May. 05, 2021

HARRISBURG—Reps. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks) and Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden asking he override a decision by the Air National Guard to appeal a decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to require water discharged from the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham be capped at 70 part-per-trillion for PFAS.

“Appealing this permit contradicts actions undertaken by other federal agencies, including the U.S. Navy, who is complying with identical requirements on property adjacent to the Air National Guard’s property in Horsham and in Warminster Township Bucks County,” the representatives wrote.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently funding a study of the long-term health impact of PFAS in these communities and the EPA recently announced it is prioritizing efforts to eliminate PFAS from drinking water.

“For the Air National Guard to object to meeting the modest standard of 70 ppt for its discharge into our local waterways while the federal, state and local governments are expending significant resources combatting these dangerous chemicals is inconsistent, irrational and irresponsible,” explained Stephens.

“This appeal puts the military in direct opposition to the Commonwealth, which has been supporting lower detect levels with tens of millions of dollars to make our water safer,” Polinchock said.

“Our communities have fought for clean water to protect our residents,” Schroeder said. “Now the Air National Guard is undermining those efforts. This is completely unacceptable.”

In 2006, the federal government closed several military bases around the country, including the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Montgomery County. As a part of the process to transfer the land, the federal government discovered significant environmental issues, including contamination of the drinking water in some Montgomery and Bucks County communities caused by the use of firefighting foam at the military installation.

Click here for a copy of the letter.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Representative Meghan Schroeder
29th District
Representative Todd Polinchock
144th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster