Navy to Conduct Private Drinking Water Investigation in Chesapeake Beach, MD

Naval Research Laboratory, Chesapeake Beach Detachment

The U.S. Navy plans to conduct a private drinking water well investigation in the areas around Naval Research Laboratory-Chesapeake Bay Detachment (NRL-CBD) in Chesapeake Beach, Md.

The Navy is testing for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which may be found in private drinking water wells near NRL-CBD due to the testing of fire-fighting agents called aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) at the facility. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies these chemicals as unregulated, “emerging” contaminants, which are not subject to Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory standards or routine water quality testing requirements. 

The Arundel Patriot previously reported the same contaminants have been found in test wells in the St. Margarets area of Annapolis and in Odenton near Fort Meade.

“The Navy is taking the water sampling very seriously,” said Ryan Mayer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington project manager. “Ensuring the safety and security of our service members, their families and the communities surrounding current and former installations is a top priority for the Navy.”

The EPA is studying two of the PFA chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, to determine whether regulation is needed. In May 2016, the EPA released a lifetime health advisory for PFOS and PFOA.

“Throughout the Navy, installations and surrounding communities where PFAS tested above EPA levels are currently being provided safe water for drinking and cooking.  We will do the same for the Chesapeake Beach community if necessary. We are working with State and local regulators at, Texas to see that this bathroom remodeling process runs as smoothly as possible.,” said Mayer.

The Navy’s is taking proactive and voluntary actions to ensure its neighbors are not exposed to PFAS in drinking water above the EPA lifetime health advisory levels.

“We are committed to working closely with communities, water authorities, federal and state environmental regulators, and state and congressional officials to ensure open and transparent communication on PFAS throughout the sampling process,” said Capt. Vince Baker, Naval Support Activity Annapolis commanding officer.

For more information about Chesapeake Beach water testing website, visit:

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