June 13, 2019

Manchin Calls Martinsburg Mayor To Congratulate Ahead Of City Council Vote

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today called Mayor Karos of Martinsburg to congratulate him ahead of the Martinsburg City Council vote tonight regarding the agreement between the City of Martinsburg and the US Department of the Air Force to provide reimbursement of certain water treatment costs that are related to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

“The Martinsburg City Council will be voting on an agreement tonight that will result in Martinsburg receiving $4.9 million for the cleanup of water resources affected by PFAS in the area. This is a great accomplishment and step towards protecting communities from PFAS contamination and cleaning up those areas that have already been affected. Congratulations to the Martinsburg City Council and Mayor Karos for their hard work on making this agreement possible,” said Senator Manchin. 

Timeline of Senator Manchin’s efforts: 

May 2016 – Following the announcement by EPA that they would lower the lifetime health advisory for PFOA and PFOS, Senator Manchin worked to help the cities of Martinsburg, Parkersburg and Vienna – all of which had legacy contamination that prompted the issuance of a “Do Not Drink” advisory from the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health.

Fall 2017 – Senator Manchin calls multiple senior officials with the Department of Defense urging them to remediate the PFOA contamination in Martinsburg linked to the use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) in the area.

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

September 28, 2018 – President Trump signs the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act that include $4.5 million for the City of Martinsburg to address PFAS contamination. Senator Manchin helped lead the bipartisan negotiations to get this money set aside.

February 28, 2019 – Senator Manchin votes against Andrew Wheeler to be the permanent Administrator of the EPA because he failed to demonstrate a desire or a will to make any meaningful progress on clean drinking water standards.

March 4, 2019 - Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced bipartisan legislation, the PFAS Action Act, that would mandate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within one year of enactment declare per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances eligible for cleanup funds under the EPA Superfund law, and also enable a requirement that polluters undertake or pay for remediation.

March 20, 2019 - Senator Manchin and 16 other Senators sends letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and Environmental Protection Agency Andrew Wheeler, requesting the agencies to release communications they’ve had with the White House, and with each other regarding the establishment of federal drinking water standards for PFAS and groundwater pollution guidelines related to those chemicals.

May 10, 2019 - Senator Manchin joins Senator Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Rubio (R-FL) in introducing the PFAS Accountability Act, designed to hold the federal agencies accountable for addressing contamination for PFAS at military bases across the country. 

May 22, 2019 - Senator Manchin announced an agreement from the United States Air Force to reimburse the City of Martinsburg $4.9 million for the rebuilding of the city’s water treatment facility to clean up and prevent PFAS contamination.