Group hosts meeting on water contamination

A group called Whidbey Water Keepers is hosting an informational meeting on contaminated well water Monday.

The meeting is from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 4 at Coupeville High School Commons, 501 South Main Street.

Three experts will give presentations, according to a press release from the group.

Island County Hydrogeologist Doug Kelly will describe the groundwater system in the affected areas.

Erica Shreder, Toxic Free Future Science director, will discuss how the Washington State Chemical Action Plan may “make a local difference for Coupeville’s water,” the group reported.

Joyce Dinglasan-Panlilio, an associate professor of environmental chemistry with the University of Washington, will explain the science and impacts of the perfluorinated compounds contaminating groundwater.

It’s been just over a year since the Navy announced it was testing areas around the Ault Field Base in Oak Harbor and Outlying Field in Coupeville for contaminants from a type of firefighting foam used to put out aircraft fires. Last year the EPA set a lifetime advisory level for the perfluorinated compounds and top Navy leaders called for all Navy bases to look into the possibility that the chemicals had contaminated drinking water.

Testing found the chemicals in concentrations above the advisory level in 10 private wells in Oak Harbor and Coupeville.

As of July, the Navy tested 219 samples and found 10 results are above the EPA lifetime health advisory level established for the chemicals.

A question-and-answer period will follow the presentations. Locally sourced pizza and other snacks will be available for sale at the event.

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