Read the full article by Caitlin Coleman (Colorado Springs Gazette)
“In a major push to protect the public, a new regulation requiring Colorado manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants and others to monitor PFAS, the so-called “forever chemicals,” takes effect this month.
It is one of several new laws and regulations the state has enacted in the past four months related to PFAS. In taking these actions, Colorado becomes one of 12 states that have opted to move out ahead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, establishing their own regulations, monitoring sources of the chemicals, and setting limits on how much of the various contaminants can exist in water supplies before they pose a threat to public health.
Found in such common substances as Teflon, Scotchguard and firefighting foam, there are thousands of PFAS, or per and polyfluoroalkyls, in use today. They’ve been linked to cancer, kidney disease and other serious illnesses and are considered particularly dangerous because they build up in human tissue.
Colorado is home to several military bases where the use of PFAS firefighting foam has resulted in groundwater contamination. Security, Fountain and Widefield in El Paso County have seen widespread contamination, including the Widefield aquifer, a fact that has local activists applauding the state for taking action to monitor the chemicals and stop them from entering Colorado’s water.
‘We did it!’ said Liz Rosenbaum, one of the founders and organizers of the Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition, a local group which has advocated for such a policy for four years. ‘The most important thing was hearing the Water Quality Control Commission (the state entity that sets water quality rules) validate that the concerns of the people are more important than industry,’ said Rosenbaum.
Colorado’s new PFAS regulatory push comes on the heels of three new state laws also designed to protect the public. The laws will, among other things, ban toxic firefighting foam, dramatically increase fines for polluters, and provide funding for PFAS cleanup…”