Behind closed doors, Sen. Thom Tillis helped block funding for toxic pollution prevention and cleanup on American military bases, including the major installations in the state he is supposed to represent. At least one of North Carolina’s bases has a bad history of water contamination.
PFAS are the toxic “forever chemicals” responsible for dangerous water contamination at military bases, including our state’s Fort Bragg. In public, Tillis claims to support controlling PFAS. But when he thought the public wasn’t looking, he joined other Republican senators in blocking a measure to address the issue.
The vote came in a non-public “markup” meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on which Tillis sits. Tillis joined the other 12 Republicans on the committee in voting to block an amendment to a key defense authorization bill. This partisan opposition killed the proposal, which was supported by the committee’s 12 Democratic members. The amendment would have given the Defense Department the authority and funding to clean up contaminated areas on the bases, repay cleanup costs spent by communities, and recover costs from the polluters responsible.
North Carolina has a history of significant pollution problems at its military facilities, including drinking water contamination at Camp Lejeune in coastal Onslow County. After these serious health problems, North Carolina citizens and military families have a right to expect our elected leaders to care more about protecting health than “jurisdictional issues” and party loyalty.
Tillis’ opponent in November’s election is the LCV Action Fund-endorsed military veteran Cal Cunningham.