Letter: Navy took quick action to address problem of PFAs

Editor,

In the Saturday, Feb. 2 edition, Rick Abraham implies that our Navy is delinquent in taking responsibility for PFAS contamination in our groundwater stemming from use of fluoridated compounds as an aircraft crash fire suppressant.

From things I’ve learned as a member of our county’s Water Resources Advisory Committee, as well as the Navy’s Restoration Advisory Board, let me suggest that, while Mr. Abraham’s Feb. 2 letter is apparently factual, the fluoridated compound issue needs to be assessed in the more comprehensive real-world scope of things.

First of all, most, if not all contamination occurred when little was known of the health hazard potential of fluoridated compounds and when our island’s population was so rural that all sorts of pollution by our own citizenry was common.

I’ve known bulldozer operators who boasted of burying all sorts of discarded junk in pits. Citizens were occasionally known to innocently dump used motor oil onto the ground with no concerns for consequences. Overgrown brush and forested areas still hide piles of discarded junk from years gone by.

Secondly, while the minute amounts of PFAS tested in groundwater suggests a high potential for human ingestion, the poison potential is quite low compared to other sources. Testing and studies show that these fluoridated compounds are omnipresent in the bodies of our general public, most of whom have no contact with our groundwater at all.

Moreover, the implication that our Navy is covertly unconcerned about the situation is refuted by the quick action they took to abate the problem. That began before most of us knew there was a problem.

Once pollutants are in the ground their concentration levels, transport speeds and vectors are most difficult to determine, and even more difficult to abate. Nevertheless our Navy took the best action available to address their involvement by drilling a pattern of sampling wells around suspected sources to determine contaminant plume movements, after which they installed what means were best-available-science to neutralize them.

That hardly describes an incompetent or uncaring Navy.

Perhaps most importantly when compared to other sources of fluoridated compound contamination, one must include oil-proofed fast food containers such as hamburger cartons, French fry containers, and drink cups. Then there are non-stick cookware, water resistant rain wear, and even the fluoride that dentists paint our teeth with.

It also bears mention that like many of us, our Navy came here having been forced out of an urban metropolis long before most of us came here; to which we must acknowledge the well-understood need for our own protection in this often troubled world that makes other concerns fade even further.

Just ask us who remember WWII and the carnage that followed.

Al Williams

Oak Harbor

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Cartoonist doesn’t understand gun laws

Editor, Regarding the political cartoon in your Aug. 10 issue that shows… Continue reading

Letter: Stop throwing your butts onto the roads

Editor, Just over a year ago, my best friend and I decided… Continue reading

Letter: Christmas In July Food and Fund Drive a huge success

Editor, We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere… Continue reading

Letter: Business community in Oak Harbor is better off thanks to Cribb

Editor, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to Christine Cribb for… Continue reading

Letter: Time spent in emergency room less than satisfactory

Editor, My first experience in the WhidbeyHealth emergency room was in May… Continue reading

Letter: Despite hyperbole, lawsuit not about shuttering base

Editor, The Bounce-on-Whidbey group is ramping up its rhetoric and scaring politicians… Continue reading

Letter: Kudos to city for its update to Windjammer

Editor, I’d like to extend heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the City… Continue reading

Letter: Humans aren’t responsible for climage change

Editor, I want to address the “Climate 101” lesson that Mr. Piazzon… Continue reading

Letter: State AG’s lawsuit about activism, not science

Editor, The Whidbey community should be quite cynical concerning the Washington Attorney… Continue reading

Most Read