From Colorado Public Radio (Dan Boyce):
Local environmental activists and state lawmakers gathered near Colorado Springs on Tuesday to call for more federal support in cleaning up toxic PFAS chemical contamination near some of the state’s military bases, most recently including the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Firefighting foams used regularly on military bases for decades leached chemicals into local groundwater supplies. In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a health advisory warning of a connection between PFAS and certain types of cancer.
The military has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on cleanup nationwide, including $50 million at Peterson Air Force Base alone.
But speakers at the event organized by the nonprofit Environment Colorado said much more funding is still needed.
Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition founder Liz Rosenbaum urged Colorado’s congressional delegation to fight for more PFAS cleanup funds in next year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“We have done everything that we can possibly do from the local level, from our city, the county and the state,” Rosenbaum said. “This is a national contamination because it has been done by the department of defense. So we have to look to Congress and our elected officials in D.C.”
Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn sits on the conference committee which is working out differences between Senate and House versions of the NDAA. Lamborn’s office did not send a representative to the press conference.
Republican state Sen. Dennis Hisey said he doesn’t think it matters where the money comes from, as long as Congressional leaders work to raise awareness of how much is left to do in cleaning up these so-called “forever chemicals.”