Sen. Cantwell announces $70 million in funding for water contamination clean-up

By:  Olivia Roberts
Source: KXLY News

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell announced today the inclusion of an additional $70 million in funding to the Department of Defense for environmental restoration in areas struggling with water contamination due to their proximity to military installations in the National Defense Authorization Act. Such areas include Fairchild Air Force Base, Joint Base Lewis McChord and Naval Station Whidbey Island.

"Clean drinking water is a must for every Washingtonian, and for families throughout our country," Cantwell said. "From Airway Heights to Coupeville and Whidbey Island, this funding will ensure we continue to clean up groundwater in communities affected by these chemicals."

PFAS are chemicals found in firefighting foams that had been used at military installations and civilian airports. The chemicals have been detected in groundwater and drinking water wells near these entities. While the health effects of these chemicals are still being determined, studies have linked PFAS exposure to developmental damage, certain cancers and immune system dysfunction. 

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act Thursday. It next moves on to the Senate for a final vote, expected to take place the following week.