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Nearly 700 military installations have had a known or suspected release of PFAS—chemicals found in firefighting foam that can have adverse effects on human health. DOD is in the early phases of environmental investigations at these locations.
Para la versión de esta página en español, ver a GAO-21-605.
The Department of Defense continues cleanup efforts of munitions and hazardous substances at former military sites in Vieques and Culebra, Puerto Rico. But substantial work remains.
Climate change has led to record low levels of ice in the U.S. Arctic—prolonging the shipping season and opening up shipping routes. This may expand economic opportunities, but harsh weather and ice conditions—plus the lack of maritime infrastructure—pose safety risks.
Do military installations have enough water to meet mission needs?
DOD completed 6 assessments—3 at the department level and 3 at the military-service level—and found 102 installations at risk of water scarcity.
DOD and EPA have found chemicals in drinking water at or near military installations that may cause cancer and other health issues. Some of these chemicals can be found in firefighting foam and rocket propellants.
What GAO Found The Department of Defense (DOD) has captured and reported more comprehensive cost information in its environmental cost reporting for installations closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process since GAO last reported on the issue in 2007.
Harmful overgrowths of algae—called algal blooms—are a problem in all 50 states. These blooms can hurt aquatic plants and animals by producing toxins, consuming oxygen, and limiting light penetration in the water.