Clean water is a right for all Whidbey citizens

Editor,

Whidbey water is contaminated. How much? Where? Here’s what we know:

In November the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a health warning about drinking water with over 70 parts per trillion of PFOAs. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to PFOAs can increase the risk of cancer, liver damage, immune system suppression, thyroid problems, poorly developed fetuses and high cholesterol.

The EPA requires that all military, industrial and community facilities using PFOA fire fighting foams test ground water and the Navy offered free testing to homeowners with wells within a mile of Ault Field and Outlying Field Coupeville (OLF).

So far, 10 percent of tested wells near the OLF are above the limit, some far above, and one near Ault Field. One Coupeville well tested near the limit, but mixing in good water from two other wells makes it safe. Scientists, however, question whether 70/ppt limit is safe, suggesting 10/ppt. New Jersey set a 40/ppt. Vermont set a 20/ppt limit.

PFOAs are in many products. Most of us have a trace in our blood. But, the Navy is a major island source of contamination. Some island wells have other naturally occurring toxins – manganese and arsenic – but PFOA is a man-made chemical we can eliminate. Other communities have done so.

PFOAs have entered our bodies — without our consent. In tort law this is called “toxic trespass.”

My three-point plan:

1. Discontinuation: Stop using PFOAs. Remove the stockpiles. Use safer alternatives.

2. Transparency: Keep citizens in the loop. Solid information allays fears.

3. Remediation: Bottled water is a Band-Aid, not a remedy. The Navy must take full financial responsibility for toxic trespass, removing PFOAs and installing the best known remediation systems.

Clean water is a right for all our citizens. All living things, on farms and in nature, need it too. We want it back.

VICKI ROBIN

Langley

More in Letters to the Editor

Need to lobby legislators to keep net neutrality

Editor, Ready to send more money to your Internet service provider (ISP)?… Continue reading

Enjoyed Island Transit’s birthday celebration

Editor, I want to thank Island Transit for sharing its birthday celebration… Continue reading

Americans must show Trump that he’s wrong

Editor, It was Maya Angelou who once told us, “When someone shows… Continue reading

Happy to be back and serving the community

Editor, To our island community and beyond: Thank you! Thank you! Thank… Continue reading

South Whidbey does in fact have a public pool

Editor, I take exception to your claim that South Whidbey has no… Continue reading

Inclusive city decision far from transparent

Editor, Quite opposite to The South Whidbey Record’s front page headline on… Continue reading

Thanks for helping make dream come to fruition

Editor, As many of you know, I am the bassist with the… Continue reading

Great items to be found at local church bazaars

Editor, Thanks so much to the churches that donate their love and… Continue reading

Don’t eliminate parking spots for wider sidewalks

Editor, Regarding the parking in Langley, I was quite surprised to read… Continue reading

Hold contractors and home services companies accountable

Editor, This is an open letter to the many local contractors and… Continue reading

Gun reform is needed in America

Editor, Anticipating a reaction to The Record’s Nov. 8 editorial advocating a… Continue reading

Thank Puget Sound Energy workers for their efforts

Editor, How many people lost power the other day? Has anyone thanked… Continue reading