A serious groundwater contamination problem linked to military bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties is on the agenda Thursday at Bucks County Community College.

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick is looking for answers and updates on chemical contamination issues that have impacted communities in Bucks and Montgomery counties from a host of government, military and environmental representatives.

A few years ago, contamination was found near the neighborhoods surrounding the Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster and Naval Air Station Willow Grove. Community drinking water was contaminated by chemicals leaching off the bases.

The chemicals, known as polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS (also referred to as perfluorinated compounds or PFCs, and including two specific compounds called PFOA and PFOS), were widely used at U.S. military bases in firefighting foam and have been found in hundreds of public and private drinking-water systems near bases across the country since 2014.

Fitzpatrick will be joined by senior congressional appropriator Congressman Tom Graves (GA-14). The congressmen will question senior members of the U.S. Dept. of Defense regarding PFAS contamination containment, remediation, and remuneration efforts and responsibilities.

The discussion, open to the public, begins today (Thursday),3:30 p.m., Charles E. Rollins Center, Bucks County Community College, Newtown Township.

Among those expected to attend:

  • Maureen Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Environment
  • Otis Hicks, Office of the DASD Air Force
  • Richard Mach, Office of the DASD Navy
  • PA State Rep. Todd Stevens
  • Office of State Rep. Kathy Watson
  • ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)
  • U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Warminster/Warrington townships
  • East/West Rockhill townships
  • North Wales Water Authority
  • Northampton Municipal Authorty
  • Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority
  • Horsham Water and Sewer Authority
  • Aqua America