H.R. NO.













URGING all branches of the united States military operating in hawaii to implement changes in their policies to reduce, to the extent possible, the use of products containing pERFLUOROALKYL AND POLYFLUOROALKYL SUBSTANCES.




     WHEREAS, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent, toxic substances that can contaminate drinking water, bioaccumulate in fish and wildlife, and have multiple adverse health effects on humans; and


     WHEREAS, peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that exposure to harmful levels of PFAS found in water, soil, air, food, and fabricated materials can lead to numerous negative health effects, which include decreased fertility, elevated blood pressure in pregnant women, developmental effects or delays in children, low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, and behavioral changes; and


     WHEREAS, PFAS also increase the risk of some cancers, including prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers; reduce the immune system's ability to fight infections, including reduced vaccine response; and interfere with the body's natural hormones, which can increase cholesterol levels and the risk of obesity; and


     WHEREAS, PFAS are often called "forever chemicals" since they do not naturally break down in the environment and can continue to pollute the environment for thousands of years; and


     WHEREAS, some of the highest concentrations of PFAS in the country have been found at and around military bases, in large part because of the military's longtime reliance on the firefighting foam known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a product containing PFAS; and


     WHEREAS, as far back as the 1970s, studies conducted by the United States Department of Defense showed that AFFF contains PFAS and is toxic; and


     WHEREAS, over ten reports have been published since then by different military organizations recognizing the danger of AFFF, and by the 1980s, animal studies conducted by the United States Air Force revealed that PFAS could pose environmental and health risks; and


     WHEREAS, on June 15, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued interim updated drinking water health advisories for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid while it develops a formal drinking water maximum contaminant limit for these PFAS; and


     WHEREAS, in November 2022, at least one thousand one hundred gallons of toxic PFAS-containing AFFF concentrate spilled at Red Hill, where another firefighting foam spill had already occurred in September 2020; and


     WHEREAS, in 2022, the Hawaii Army National Guard and National Guard Bureau released findings from a site inspection at the Waiawa facility showing PFAS exceedance levels in groundwater samplings; and


     WHEREAS, the Army National Guard is now verifying whether drinking water wells on downgradient properties have been affected; and


     WHEREAS, PFAS contamination can endanger the groundwater and drinking water supply of thousands of Hawaii residents; and


     WHEREAS, various PFAS have been detected in soil and groundwater samples across the State that in some samples show levels that may pose a public health concern; and


     WHEREAS, PFAS-free alternatives for AFFF are widely available on the market today, and thirty-five PFAS-free and environmentally preferred products from eleven manufacturers have already met GreenScreen Certified Standards, which is a globally recognized tool for chemical hazard assessment created by the nonprofit organizations Center for Environmental Health and Clean Production Action; and


     WHEREAS, the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the phase-out of the military's use of PFAS-based AFFF beginning in 2024 and banned military training exercises with PFAS-based AFFF and the use of PFAS in Meals Ready-to-Eat food packaging; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2023, that all branches of the United States military operating in Hawaii are urged to implement changes in their policies to reduce, to the extent possible, the use of products containing PFAS; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States military is requested to immediately discontinue the use of AFFF in any event that is not deemed an emergency and to properly dispose of all personal protective equipment potentially contaminated with PFAS in accordance with United States Environmental Protection Agency guidelines; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States military is requested to share all information relating to past or present PFAS releases to the environment or significant human or environmental exposures of PFAS-containing materials, including AFFF, in a proactive, timely, and transparent manner; provided that the information shared with state, county, and federal agencies and the public includes but is not limited to:


     (1)  Details and timing of the release;


     (2)  Trade name, ingredients, and amount of product released; and


     (3)  Any control measures instituted, sampling data, and plans for remediation; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States military is requested to expand and hasten its evaluation of possible PFAS- contaminated sites utilizing the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act process, including but not limited to expanded and expedited site investigations, environmental sampling, and contamination characterization and remediation of PFAS-contaminated sites; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the United States Secretary of Defense, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Hawaii's Congressional Delegation, Director of Health, the head of each counties' respective Department of Environmental Management, and the head of each counties' respective Board or Department of Water Supply.









Report Title: 

United States Military; PFAS