Wolf Announces Funds to Help Remove PFAS Contamination

On March 28th, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the state will contribute $8 million to help remove PFAS contamination from the drinking water of about 55,000 residents in Bucks County. $5 million of these funds will be allocated to Warminster Township, while the remaining $3 million will be distributed to Warrington Township.

This contamination was caused by decades of unregulated and uncontrolled fire training activities at two former U.S. Navy bases in Warminster and Willow Grove. PFAS contamination has been linked to serious health consequences, including cancer, low birth weights, and more.

Although this money is helpful addressing the harm that PFAS contamination has caused, it does not address the root of the problem. In an interview with WHYY following Governor Wolf’s announcement, Mark Cuker spoke on behalf of the Buxmont Coalition for Safer Water, and emphasized the need for our government to be proactive, rather than reactive, in order to protect our communities and ensure that our families and children have access to safe drinking water. As Mr. Cuker stated,

“This is a piecemeal approach, and it’s like playing whack-a-mole — it’s going to come up again and again. We need a comprehensive approach where the polluter has to pay. And that can be done by adding PFAS to the hazardous substance list.”

Individual states, including New Jersey, have recognized the insufficiency of the EPA’s health advisory levels for PFAS, and have set their own stricter standards. Pennsylvania needs to do the same thing, and add PFAS to the hazardous substance list. That can force the party responsible for the pollution, the U.S. Government, to cover the costs of cleanup.