(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine sent a letter today to Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Mark Esper asking DOD to enter into a cooperative agreement with Ohio EPA and the city of Dayton to take more expedient and preventative measures to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination and protect the Great Buried Valley Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to more than 2.3 million people in Southwest Ohio, including more than 400,000 people in the Dayton metropolitan area.
Under December 2019 revisions to the National Defense Authorization Act, state Governors can request the Secretary of Defense to direct Department of Defense installations to enter into cooperative agreements to address PFAS issues.
The city of Dayton’s Water Department accesses the aquifer through its Mad River wellfield, which is located directly adjacent to and downgradient from Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) operations. Because of the natural gradient, chemicals released onto the ground or into the storm water drainage system at WPAFB can flow directly towards the city’s wellfield.
In addition to today’s action, in September 2019, Governor Mike DeWine called for Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Health to develop a statewide PFAS action plan to identify the extent of PFAS chemicals in Ohio’s drinking water systems statewide.
Under the action plan, Ohio EPA is providing the test results to each public water system and publishing the data publicly on Ohio’s interactive PFAS website, pfas.ohio.gov under the “data” tab. Ohio EPA expects to complete sampling of Ohio’s 1,500 public water systems, including those that serve communities, schools, daycares, and mobile home parks, by the end of 2020.