Over 50 groups urge Biden administration to ramp up Department of Defense cleanups

The Environmental Working Group, along with other community and environmental organizations, have sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality stating that the Biden administration’s past funding proposals have shortchanged the Department of Defense’s environmental cleanup program – despite the discovery of more than 400 sites with confirmed contamination from the toxic ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS. 

The groups support $2 billion in funding for DOD cleanup.

In a December 5, 2022, letter to Shalanda Young, director of the OMB, and Brenda Mallory, chair of the CEQ, the groups state that the administration’s past budget proposals have “failed to recognize the urgent need for substantially more funding,” despite a White House announcement in October 2021 of a government-wide commitment to tackle PFAS. 

President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposed cutting the cleanup funding by $400 million from fiscal year 2022 levels, “to the disappointment of communities across the U.S. that are waiting for PFAS cleanups,” the letter states. EWG estimates that, at the current pace, cleanup of DOD sites will take as long as 50 years. 

The groups commend the Biden administration for “doing more than any previous administration” to address PFAS, but they express concern that DOD sites “present an ongoing and substantial threat to communities.”

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