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The Navy's permit to pollute

The EPA shut down the public comment period on November 14 and granted a permit to Whidbey Naval Air Station that ignores the base’s polluting of public waters. The Navy would not support the request for the extension.

Citizens requested an extension of the comment period on the proposed stormwater permit because the Navy withheld test results showing toxic PFAS chemicals in the water – and hasn’t released results that might reveal other pollutants.

PFASs (poly/perfluoroalkyl substances) are harmful to humans, persist in the environment, and accumulate in fish and marine mammals. The Navy discharges PFASs to Clover Valley Creek, a Lake, a salmon restoration area, and Dugualla Bay.

EPA admits to being unaware of the PFASs when it wrote the permit. Neither did it know these “forever” chemicals had turned up in nearby drinking water wells. It granted the permit anyway.

A year ago the Navy revealed that two PFASs were found in the water. It didn’t reveal that six had actually been found – and in twelve monthly tests since then. The Navy waited nine months, well into the comment period, to tell a family that PFASs were in their well.

EPA says it “might” revisit the permit. Really? EPA shouldn’t be rubber-stamping permits that ignore discharges of toxic chemicals. It should rewrite the permit with protective provisions and a set new public comment period.

If you agree, send an email to EPA saying so to Misha Vakoc [email protected].

- Rick Abraham


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