Madison Water Utility Board releases statement on F-35s

Madison Water Utility Board releases statement on F-35s
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The Madison Water Utility Board released a statement Wednesday afternoon on the potential dangers on local drinking water of a F-35 fighter jet being housed at Truax Field

According to a news release, the statement has been submitted for inclusion in the Air National Guard Environmental Impact Statement and was approved unanimously at the group’s meeting Tuesday night.

The MWU said its duties are “to provide safe, affordable and adequate water for drinking, household and business use, and fire protection to the residents and visitors of MWU’s service area in Dane County.”

The group said a well is located “less than a mile from Truax Field,” where the F-35 would be housed.

In the statement, the group said “The Air National Guard Base has been identified as a major source of [per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAs] contamination. While an investigation is underway, steps required by the Wisconsin DNR to further investigate the extent of the contamination have not yet been taken, and the Department of Defense has not considered this a priority site for mitigation.”

The MWU said the Department of Defense and the Air National Guard cannot perform planned construction “without a complete site investigation that defines the extent and nature of PFAs contamination in soil and groundwater.”

According to the statement, such an investigation would require a “materials management plan for any areas of the base impacted by construction,” but the 115th Fighter Wing “does not have enough information presently to do this.”

“This is not an acceptable position for Madison and its residents, who rightfully expect to have clean and safe drinking water available to them without bearing the high cost of additionally treating or replacing productive drinking water wells,” the statement said.

At a press conference Monday, Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, said there are key pieces of information missing from the draft environmental impact statement the U.S. Air Force released in August.

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