TUCSON— Today, Tucson Water announced plans to indefinitely shut down the Tucson Airport Remediation Project water treatment center in Southern Tucson after rising per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the aquifer have made it too costly for the plant to resume operation. While the treatment plant is closed, the 60,000 people the plant served will now receive their water from recovered Colorado River water and groundwater that are not impacted by the PFAS contamination. PFAS chemicals are known carcinogens and were commonly found in the firefighting foam used on military bases.
“There is no justification for communities like Tucson to continue suffering from PFAS contamination while the federal government drags their feet and fails to act,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “For too long the Department of Defense has continued to shift responsibility and failed to address PFAS contamination on and near military bases to the detriment of our families, friends, and neighbors in Tucson. PFAS remediation efforts require strong action from the federal government, and I will continue working in Congress to get these necessary funds to ensure that Tucson residents can drink and utilize their water without fear of contamination.”
Rep. Grijalva voted in 2020 for the PFAS Action Act to regulate PFAS chemicals and cosponsored an amendment to the legislation that would reimburse impacted communities like Tucson for past cleanup efforts while supporting the installation of treatment technologies and infrastructure needed to clean the water. Additionally, he submitted testimony to the House Armed Services Committee to include PFAS remediation funding in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2021.
“We must look at every possibility whether it’s a standalone bill, an infrastructure package, NDAA, or an appropriations bill to remedy this issue once and for all,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “Our communities can’t wait.”