Air Force hosting public meeting Thursday to discuss contaminated water wells around Reese

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center will host a public meeting Thursday to discuss the contaminated water wells around Reese Air Force Base west of Lubbock.

 

The Air Force announced in January that 19 private drinking water wells and one public water well were found to have high levels of perfluorinated compounds. These water wells were deemed to be at or above the health advisory levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a statement from the U.S. Air Force. They’re still inspecting others.

The public meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cagle Steaks restaurant located at 8732 4th Street. Following a presentation from the Air Force, an open question-and-answer session will last until about 9 p.m.

Alternative drinking water supplies are being distributed to those affected by water contamination detected through a comprehensive Air Force site inspection at the former Reese Air Force Base, which closed in 1997, according to an A-J Media article from January.

Inspections of the water wells around the former Reese Air Force Base began in November 2017, according to a news release from the U.S. Air Force. Drinking water wells within one mile and in the direction of groundwater flow of the former base were tested, according to the news release.

Mark Kinkade with the United States Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center public affairs office, said this is a health advisory, not a regulation.

These compounds found in the water were used in firefighting foam used to combat petroleum fires. The effects of the substances on the body are not well understood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Murvat Musa, executive director of the Lubbock Reese Redevelopment Authority, said the contamination does not apply to the parties located on the former Air Force base. She said Reese purchases water from the city of Lubbock — it’s the surrounding property owners who are affected.

 

More