On August 27, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine sent a letter to the Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Mark Esper requesting DOD cooperation in addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) threatening the drinking water supply in the Dayton area. More specifically, Governor DeWine requested that the DOD enter a cooperative agreement with the Ohio EPA and the City of Dayton in order to protect the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer from PFAS contamination at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base operated by the DOD. Governor DeWine states that “the time for action and a cooperative approach is now.”
The Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer supplies drinking water to more than 2.3 million people in Southwest Ohio, including more than 400,000 people in the Dayton area. It is designated by U.S. EPA under the Safe Drinking Water Act as a sole-source aquifer, meaning there is no other viable source of water for the area. According to Governor DeWine, the City of Dayton’s wellfield is directly adjacent to and downgradient from Wright Patterson Air Force Base operations, and Wright Patterson’s monitoring wells have detected plumes of PFAS compounds migrating toward the City of Dayton wellfield.
Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, state governors can request that the Secretary of Defense direct DOD installations to enter into cooperative agreements to address PFAS issues.