Ducey writes letter to Defense Department urging action on contaminated groundwater near AZ military bases

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 4, 2021

TUCSON (KVOA) - In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey believes it's time for the Defense Department to take further action to make sure contaminated groundwater near Davis Monthan Air Force Base and three other military bases in Arizona does not cause more human exposure.

For years, Davis Monthan and other bases across the country have used a firefighting foam that contained PFAS, a potentially cancer-causing substance that got into groundwater.

Over time, plumes move and Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik argues state leaders and the federal government need to help Tucson get this under control.

"We know the problem and we know where it came from," Kozachik said. "What we need Ducey to do and the feds to do is to step up to the plate with their checkbook and write us a check to put in treatment plants to contain the plume and clean the water."

Kozachik tells News 4 Tucson's Eric Fink a number of wells near Davis Monthan that have already been turned off.

"We have 18 wells shut down because of PFAS," he said. "That's not a strategy. That's a reaction and the reaction that we've had to take to make sure that we're not spreading this PFAS through our groundwater system."

A Tucson Water official said the Defense Department needs to invest in a clean-up effort.

"They know that there's some contamination off the base, so we want them to start to pump and treat that groundwater to a safe standard and return it back to the environment, so it does not continue to move towards the city's central wellfield," Tucson Water Interim Director John Kmiec said.

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