Mark Esper Directs Creation of PFAS Chemical Contamination Task Force

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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.

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