The Navy is seeking to test private drinking water wells in designated areas near the former Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant (NWIRP)/Grumman facility near Calverton. These free tests are to determine whether certain chemicals have migrated through groundwater to private drinking water wells at levels greater than EPA’s health advisory levels.
On Sept. 25, 2018 from 4 to 7 p.m., the Navy will hold a public meeting to inform the community of the sampling program and respond to questions from the public. The public meeting will be at the Marriott Residence Inn Long Island East End, 2012 Old Country Road, Riverhead, New York 11901. Also on hand at the meeting and working in partnership with the Navy are representatives from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of Health, and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
In May 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued lifetime health advisory levels for two chemicals: perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The EPA’s health advisory level for lifetime exposure is 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS and 70 ppt for PFOA. When both PFOS and PFOA are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations should not exceed 70 ppt. Although these health advisory levels are not enforceable regulatory standards, the Navy is seeking to identify private wells that have been impacted at levels greater than the lifetime health advisory levels.
PFOS and PFOA (collectively referred to as PFAS) are man-made chemicals persistent in the environment. PFAS has been used since the 1950s in products that resist heat, stains, grease and water. It has been used in a variety of products and substances such as non-stick cookware, food packaging such as microwaveable popcorn bags, and water-resistant textiles and sprays used to treat carpets and fabrics. The most common historical Navy use of these chemicals has been through the firefighting agent, aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).
More information about the Navy’s PFAS initiative and drinking water testing program may be found at https://go.usa.gov/xPCpj. For more information, call the Public Affairs Office at 757.341.1410 or email at NAVFAC_ML_PAO@navy.mil.