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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 June 12 - 18  >  Possibly due to PFAS, US military will stop using on-base drinking water wells
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2024 June 12 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Possibly due to PFAS, US military will stop using on-base drinking water wells

June 12, 2024

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Yamazoe Taku on June 11 suggested that possibly because PFAS levels have been exceeding the U.S.-set limit, the U.S. military is intending to stop operating drinking wells at the U.S. Yokota Air Base in Tokyo and use local municipal water supplies for drinking water.

Yamazoe, at a meeting of the House of Councilors Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, said that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April set a limit of four nanograms per liter in drinking water for PFOS and PFOA among PFAS.

Reportedly, the U.S. military has submitted to the Japanese government a plan to apply the EPA-set new regulation limit to U.S. forces in Japan and to use drinking water from local municipal water systems.

Yamazoe asked if this report is true. Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko replied, “We are not aware of it.”

He said, “If the well water on the base is not safe for drinking, then the water leaking into the surrounding communities’ groundwater is also not safe.” He noted that the U.S. military in Germany already began constructing pumps and filters for PFAS removal at the U.S. Army Ansbach Garrison and is considering removing contaminated soil as requested by nearby residents.

He urged the Japanese government to demand that the U.S. military conduct an investigation to identify the source of the contamination and take PFAS countermeasures.
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