Mark Esper Directs Creation of PFAS Chemical Contamination Task Force

Mark Esper, Secretary of the Army

Defense Secretary and 2019 Wash100 Award winner Mark Esper is calling on the Department of Defense to create a task force to address the issue of contamination from firefighting foam at over 400 military facilities, Military.com reported Wednesday. Esper stated in a memo that the task force will be led by the assistant secretary of defense for sustainment.

The group must submit a progress report to combat polyfluorinated alkyl substances which are linked to cancer and various disorders. Focus areas include health-related assessments on PFAS contamination, metrics for cleanup operations and interagency collaborative efforts.

“We must approach the problem in an aggressive and holistic way, ensuring a coordinated DoD-wide approach to this issue,” Esper said.

Last year, the Pentagon issued a report to Congress stating that the amount of potentially dangerous perfluorinated compounds at 126 military installations have reached critical levels.

You may also be interested in...

Derek Tournear

SDA Director Derek Tournear: Satellite, Launch Prices Have Dropped

Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency (SDA) and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, said virtually in a Defense One panel that the military's goal to establish a network of low Earth orbit satellites is now more reachable as a result of commercialization. Tournear said launches now cost tens of millions of dollars compared to just a few years ago.