Chemical concerns prompt Navy to test water in Hampden Township

Carlisle/West Shore

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Navy is asking Hampden Township homeowners within a mile of its base if it may test their private wells.

“The Navy basically said to us that it’s a program that’s going on around the country at various installations,” said Al Bienstock, president of the Hamden Township Board of Commissioners.

Navy representatives say there’s a concern that chemicals from a type of foam used by Navy firefighters could have spread.

“The fire foam is used in drilling activities at training facilities and so forth,” said Ramez Ziadeh, executive deputy secretary for programs at the Department of Environmental Protection.

“It may have a substance that may cause illness,” said Bienstock.

Township residents received an email inviting them to a meeting with subject experts July 31 at the Park Inn.

The Navy says if there is an issue, it will give out water bottles until a long-term solution is found.

“We shoot them an emergency permit … a permit to construct treatment on that water,” said Ziadeh.

The township says homeowners with public drinking water systems don’t have to be concerned.

“One of the things they need to do is make a determination as to where the water coming off this very large base is going,” said Bienstock.

This month, Gov. Tom Wolf launched a task force to deal with PFAS.

The Department of Environmental Protection is testing certain public water supplies across the state.

“We are testing to see if they are above that health advisory limit,” said Ziadeh.

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