August 24, 2018

Manchin Secures Funding in Spending Bill to Reimburse Martinsburg for Clean-up of Water Supply

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) secured funding to remedy the contamination of drinking water in Martinsburg, WV which was caused by the use of perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) in fire-fighting foams.

“In 2016, when Martinsburg and other West Virginia communities were faced with the daunting news that their drinking water sources had been contaminated with unacceptable levels of PFOA in their drinking water supply I started working with federal agencies and Martinsburg officials. I am excited that Martinsburg will finally be reimbursed for the cleanup costs after PFOA was detected in the water supply. Now my top priority will be making sure this funding stays in the final spending bill which is now going to conference with the House of Representatives,” Senator Manchin said.


After concerns were raised that Martinsburg’s water system was contaminated by unacceptable levels of a chemical used in foams by the West Virginia Air National Guard to fight fires, the city chose to shut down the Big Springs Water Plant to prevent the consumption of contaminated drinking water.

Below is a full timeline on Senator Manchin’s efforts on this issue:

May 2016 - Following the announcement by EPA that they would lower the lifetime health advisory for PFOA in spring of 2016, Senator Manchin worked to help facilitate support for the city of Martinsburg, Parkersburg and Vienna – all three municipalities had legacy PFOA contamination.

October 2017- Senator Manchin and Senator Capito hold a joint call with Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air for Installations, Environment, and Energy, Richard Hartley.

November 8, 2017 – Senator Manchin and Senator Capito hold a joint call with Lucian Niemeyer, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment.

January 9, 2018 – Senator Manchin speaks with Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, Robert Hood, about Martinsburg.

January 2018 – Senator Manchin sends a letter to the President outlining infrastructure priorities, including Martinsburg.

March 21, 2018 – Senator Manchin sends a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

May 2018 – Senator Manchin calls on the EPA to issue a maximum contaminant limit (MCL) on PFAS as opposed to merely a lifetime health advisory.

May 2018 – Senator Manchin writes to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney asking for the immediate release the results of a study regarding the full effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on human health.  

June 2018 – Senator Manchin supported an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to allow the DOD to pay for clean-up costs related to the contamination of Martinsburg water supply.  This amendment was stripped in Conference negotiations with the House of Representatives.