Detection of PFOS in drinking water leads to request for access onto US base compounds

Detection of PFOS in drinking water leads to request for access onto US base compounds

Okinawa Prefectural Enterprise Bureau Director Taira (third from the left) requests the authorized entrance to base compounds for investigative purposes on January 21 at 2 p.m. at the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau.


January 21, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

PFOS, a fluorinated organic compound and pollutant, has been detected in the water at Chatan Water Purification Plant and Hija River. On January 21, director of the Okinawa Prefectural Enterprise Bureau Toshiaki Taira visited the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) in Kadena Town and requested that the U.S. Armed Forces grant authorization to enter base compounds for investigation purposes. ODB Planning Department Vice-Director Hitoshi Miyagawa replied that the Bureau intends to promptly convey this request to the US Armed Forces.

Taira requested that if the U.S. Armed Forces has indeed been using PFOS, that it quickly halt its use of the organic compound, disclose the background of its use of PFOS, and respond with appropriate measures to address the situation. After making his request, Taira said in a media interview that up to this point gaining access to US base compounds has been difficult. He also mentioned, “In this instance, however, Okinawa residents’ drinking water has been affected, so we hope that [the US Armed Forces] will take a different approach this time.”

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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