Washington, D.C. –– Today, U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff demanded action from the Department of Defense to clean up contamination threatening the health of Georgia military families at the Savannah Air National Guard Base.
Exposure to PFAS chemicals, found in consumer products and commercial applications, has been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, weakened childhood immunity, and many other health problems, and contamination is common on and near many U.S. military bases.
Four of Georgia’s military bases have been identified as confirmed PFAS contamination sites, including the Savannah Air National Guard Base.
Sen. Ossoff pressed Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy Resilience, to use the full power of the Defense Department to remediate contamination, assess the health impacts on military communities, and personally visit the installations to ensure the protection of Savannah-area servicemembers.
Please find a transcript of the exchange below:
SEN. OSSOFF: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to our panel for joining us today. Thank you for your service to the country. Mr. Kidd, my first question is for you. As has been noted, the IG report that’s the center of today’s hearing found that DoD has failed to proactively mitigate contaminant effects of PFAS, resulting in preventable harm. Georgia is home to four military installations that the Environmental Working Group has identified as confirmed PFAS contamination sites including Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, Robins Air Force Base near Macon, Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, and the Savannah Airport, which is home to Savannah Air National Guard Base. My question for you, Mr. Kidd is, will you commit to use every resource at your disposal and to bring, to the best of your ability, the full power and resources of the Department of Defense to the necessary effort to remediate contamination, wherever possible, to fully assess the health impacts on these military communities and the broader communities surrounding these military communities in Marietta, Georgia, and Macon, and Valdosta, and Savannah, and will you if requested and then if necessary, personally visit these installations, if and where you have not yet, to work with me, my office, the local commands, and local elected officials to ensure DoD is doing everything in its power to protect human health and clean up this mess?”
RICHARD KIDD: “Senator, having spent many years in Georgia when I was a young man in the Army, I would welcome a trip back. And so yes, I would be happy to work with you and your office on all things related to the installations in Georgia. And we will take as a due out to provide you a report on where in the CERCLA cleanup process the installations are in Georgia. In terms of commitments, I commit to following the federal law, CERCLA, and the Department will move out expeditiously and with intent and focus in meeting our obligations under that law.”
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