Horsham Township Announces Health Expert Panel Discussion on Water Quality
(Montgomery County, PA) – Horsham Township Council, in partnership with U.S. Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-13) and Patrick Meehan (PA-7), will host a panel discussion regarding the improvement of water quality in Horsham Township on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at Hatboro-Horsham High School. Representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have been invited and are expected to participate in the panel.
“As township residents ourselves, we understand and respect that many of our neighbors continue to be concerned about the safety of our water supply,” said Deborah Tustin, President, Horsham Township Council. “Our council shares an unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety of our residents, and we look forward to hosting representatives from multiple government agencies here in Horsham to address the health and safety of our community.”
Reps. Boyle and Meehan were instrumental in working with Horsham Township to secure the attendance of government agencies as a part of their ongoing bipartisan work to resolve water quality concerns in the region. The panel discussion is open to all members of the public and designed to provide information to residents of Horsham, Warminster and Warrington townships, along with former military personnel and employees stationed at the Willow Grove and Johnsville naval air stations.
“I appreciate the heightened scrutiny these agencies have dedicated to studying these contaminants, and I believe residents have a right to hear their latest findings directly from them. A growing body of studies links these contaminants to various health complications, some very serious, all worthy of study,” said Congressman Boyle. “We are fighting to ensure the federal government makes our communities whole in every sense, and to empower residents with the information they need to fully understand these issues and inform their healthcare decisions.”
“Residents understandably have many questions and concerns about the safety of their drinking water and their possible past exposure to PFOA/PFOS compounds,” said Congressman Meehan. “This forum will be an opportunity for experts in the field to address some of these concerns and give area residents the information they need to know to make informed decisions.”
All water provided by Horsham Water and Sewer Authority (HWSA) currently meets or exceeds all DEP and EPA drinking water quality standards, and all nine of the HWSA’s active wells show PFC levels significantly below the new EPA Lifetime Health Advisory. On June 27, Horsham Township Council and the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority led a joint meeting to finalize a short-term remediation plan for the township’s wells, with a goal of achieving a standard of water quality that far exceeds any other in the nation by the end of 2016.
In March of this year, Boyle and Meehan sent a joint letter to the Navy demanding answers about the government’s knowledge of the water issues surrounding the former Naval Air Station Willow Grove and the Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster.
In April of this year, Boyle and Meehan jointly demanded that the EPA release stricter lifetime health advisory standards for specific perfluorinated compounds (PFOS & PFOA), which it ultimately did in May.
The lawmakers recently introduced legislation that authorizes the Department of Defense to fund subsidized health screenings for residents in communities affected by water contamination due to nearby active or former military installations.