“Fairbanks City Councilman David Pruhs has directed staff to draft a plan over the next 90 days on how the city will respond to the growing problem of groundwater contamination caused by chemical compounds in firefighting foam. Pruhs told City Attorney Paul Ewers Monday that the plan must include a way for the city to compensate homeowners who could be paying for the local response to the contamination through their property taxes.

Pruhs told Ewers during Monday’s council meeting that the city must come up with a plan on how it’ll recover at least some of the $3 million the city has spent over the past year-and-a-half trying to help homeowners affected by the growing groundwater-contamination problem…

Pruhs said Tuesday the plan would include discussion of how the city could seek compensation for homeowners who he says will be paying for the city’s response to the contamination through their property taxes. He says the plan should include a list of agencies, companies and other entities that have used the city’s Regional Fire Training Center. That’s where personnel trained on the use of fire-suppressing foam that contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, the chemical compounds that’ve contaminated groundwater near the fire-training center and elsewhere around Fairbanks…

Mayor Jim Matherly said Tuesday that Ewers has been working on a legal strategy to respond to the groundwater contamination. He says Ewers will try to finish the job in 90 days – but he adds it’s a very convoluted and complicated case.

‘Obviously this takes time to contact everybody,’ Matherly said. ‘It takes time to figure out who used what, who used it when. Just because they used the fire-training center doesn’t mean they used the fire pit, where the chemical was.’

The mayor says says the case would get even more complicated if the city decided to go after 3M, the Minnesota-based manufacturer that developed PFAS and helped promoted its wide use in many other household and industrial products.”

Read the full article by Tim Ellis