PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (NEWS CENTER) — It's a setback for families of people who drank contaminated water at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The Air Force says it has limited authority and money to study the problem.

Members of Testing for Pease has been lobbying federal health officials to monitor people who were exposed and study adverse health effects over the long term. Tests show that more than 1,500 adults and children have elevated levels of perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, in their blood.

The chemical has been linked to cancer and health problems. It was discovered in a well on the former Air Force base, which has since been shut down. The chemicals were in foam used by firefighters during training exercises, which seeped into the ground water.

"The DOD should be funding this process and taking responsibility," said Amico. "They have been taking responsibility in the aspect of cleaning up the water so they need to take responsibility in terms of the health studies."

The group plans on lobbying members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation to put pressure on the Defense Department to fund the study which is expected to cost between $10 to $15 million.