Since 2021, the US Department of Defense (DOD) has notified nearly 4,000 agricultural operations of the potential for PFAS contamination in aquifers associated with military installations, adding nearly 400 new notifications in its most recent update. DOD has been issuing such notifications since Congress included the requirement in section 335 of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). DOD must notify agricultural operations within one mile down gradient of military installations where PFAS associated with the bases has been detected in groundwater above advisory levels and “has been hydrologically linked to a local agricultural or drinking water source.” The obligation applies to three PFAS compounds -- perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS). The advisory levels used to trigger the notices are 70 ppt individual or combined for PFOA and PFOS and 40 ppb for PFBS.
Many of the new notifications were issued in South Carolina, California, Washington and Nevada.