Read the full article by Lindsey Toomer (Colorado Newsline)

“A bipartisan group of 40 U.S. senators including Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper of Colorado wrote to the Department of Defense asking officials to address toxic chemical exposure at military installations. 

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS substances, are synthetic chemicals found in firefighting foam, among other products. The chemicals are notoriously persistent and cannot be removed from drinking water by boiling, earning the nickname ‘forever chemicals.’ 

PFAS contamination emerged as an issue in Colorado in 2015, when the Widefield, Fountain and Security communities in El Paso County detected levels of contamination in drinking water well above federal limits, Newsline previously reported. The chemicals have been linked to firefighting foam use at Peterson Space Force Base for petroleum fires that cannot be put out by water alone. 

The letter, directed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, notes that nearly 700 military installations across the country have known or suspected contamination to the toxic chemicals, and it asks the DOD to prioritize PFAS testing and remediation because of how much funding Congress has committed to the issue. According to a news release from Hickenlooper’s office, Congress has increased its funding on the matter by $1 billion over the past six years. This includes $517 million from the National Defense Authorization Act specifically targeted at PFAS-related activities for the 2022 fiscal year.” …