Read the full article by Staff Writer (The Colorado Springs Business Journal)
“Gov. Jared Polis yesterday signed five bills to better protect firefighters and Colorado communities from PFAS exposure, extend workers’ compensation benefits to first responders who experience audible trauma, and provide critical health benefits to wildland firefighters.
HB20-1119, sponsored by Representatives Tony Exum and Lois Landgraf, sets stringent guidelines for the testing and use of PFAS-based firefighting foam in order to protect firefighters and prevent the chemicals from entering Colorado’s groundwater sources. The bill also requires the state to certify and register every facility that possesses, tests or uses PFAS fire fighting substances. SB20-181, sponsored by Representatives Jonathan Singer and Hugh McKean creates a grant program to protect communities from PFAS contamination.
PFAS, or perfluorinated chemicals, have been used in firefighting foams and in the manufacture of Teflon, Scotchgard and other industrial products. The chemicals are extraordinarily persistent in the environment, and neither break down nor degrade naturally, and pass undetected through water and wastewater treatment systems.
‘Our firefighters and crisis response professionals always put our communities first and are often exposed to dangerous or traumatic situations,’ Exum (D-Colorado Springs) said in a news release.
‘The legislation the governor signed today will protect our firefighters and our groundwater from toxic PFAS chemicals and provide important benefits to our 911 dispatchers, social workers and so many other Coloradans who respond to dangerous situations’…”