Coupeville’s unprotected and contaminated well, which sits next to the OLF, is providing PFAS-laced water to schools, businesses, Whidbey General Hospital and hundreds of families. Since late 2016, some families with contaminated wells near the OLF have even had to abandon them and drink, cook and brush their teeth with water in plastic bottles, according to Abraham, who has investigated PFAS contaminations in a number of states, taking samples, interfacing with regulatory officials and researching internal company documentation of PFAS-related health harms.
Along with ongoing Navy obfuscation around the crisis, the Whidbey Island Health Department — which has described the Navy as a “partner” — has actively worked with the Navy in shaping the health department’s message about the contamination to the community. The health department also kept secret from the public a plan to test the wells in the community — at the Navy’s request — and who also did not allow citizens to provide input for what was tested and at what levels.
There are numerous examples across the country of the Navy contaminating water around its bases with toxic chemicals. As of last year, there are literally hundreds of towns across the country dealing with this or similar issues.
Meanwhile, Naval Air Station Whidbey has recently dramatically expanded its fleet of “Growler” aircraft, the single loudest aircraft on the planet, and corresponding operations will increase as well.