People Exposed to PFCs at Pease Raise Concerns About Slow Federal Investigation

Apr 12, 2017

Credit Via PortsmouthWastewater.com

-- Updated 4/13 to include statement from ATSDR --

People exposed to high levels of PFCs at the former Pease Air Force Base are expressing frustration over how long it’s taking a federal agency to investigate the health impacts of the contamination.

After the chemicals were found in a well that supplied drinking water at Pease in 2014, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, or ATSDR, was told to investigate.

Since early 2016, ATSDR has been conducting a feasibility study, to see what the agency could or should look into regarding possible health impacts.

In late March, the agency postponed a meeting with community members to discuss what their study found. That move prompted New Hampshire’s congressional delegation to send a letter to ATSDR, asking the agency to speed things up.

On Monday, ATSDR said it would not be releasing a shorter version of the study, something ATSDR director Pat Breysse publicly said they would do if the full version was not yet ready.

Andrea Amico serves on the Pease Community Assistance Panel and has two children who were exposed to PFCs while attending daycare at Pease. "We've been working with ATSDR for a year now," she says. " So I think it's completely unacceptable that in a year's time we don't even have a feasibility assessment to view."

On Wednesday night, the agency released a statement saying it understands the frustration and that it is committed to releasing a draft as quickly as possible.

ATSDR also confirmed that the Department of Defense, which was responsible for the contamination, has been able to review and comment on the feasibility study. 

Some members of the Pease community are calling that  a conflict of interest.