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Associated Press / Stock Photo

El Paso County is one of seven sites across the country where researchers will be studying the human health effects of drinking water contaminated by potentially toxic chemicals known as PFAS. The project is set to start within six months and will be led locally by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

The Environmental Protection Agency released an action plan Thursday regarding potentially toxic chemicals known as PFAS. The chemicals have been detected in drinking water in Security, Widefield, and Fountain, among other locations across the country.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Some residents of Security, Widefield, and Fountain have elevated levels of potentially toxic chemicals in their blood, according to new research by the Colorado School of Public Health and the Colorado School of Mines. The chemicals, from a family of compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are believed to have leached into the Widefield aquifer from firefighting foams once used at Peterson Air Force Base. The aquifer has long been an important source of drinking water for southern El Paso County.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

 

At a two-day forum held by the EPA in Colorado Springs, local water officials, state health representatives, and residents of El Paso County called on the agency to take action to regulate a group of potentially toxic chemicals known as PFAS (also called PFCs). The chemicals have been linked to certain cancers and other illnesses, and were detected above safe levels in drinking water in Security, Widefield, and Fountain in 2016. Authorities believe the contamination came from PFAS-containing firefighting foams long used in training exercises at Peterson Air Force base.

What Will Become Of Venetucci Farm?

May 16, 2018
Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC


Peak Curiosity is a community-driven reporting series from 91.5 KRCC. We ask listeners to submit their questions about the Pikes Peak region and Southern Colorado, and then we answer them. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to submit your question!

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

It’s been nearly two years since residents in southern El Paso County learned their drinking water contained potentially unsafe levels of chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs (also referred to as PFAS). The chemicals were long used in products ranging from non-stick pans to industrial fire fighting foams, and they’ve been linked in recent years to certain cancers and other health conditions.

Ohio-based attorney Rob Bilott has been working on cases related to PFC contamination since the late 90s, and is credited with helping to bring the issue to light nationally through his litigation in West Virginia. He’s not affiliated with a local lawsuit against manufacturers of the PFC-containing firefighting foams thought to be responsible for contamination in the Widefield aquifer, but he’ll be speaking about the issue at Mesa Ridge High School in Widefield on Tuesday, 4/17, at 7 p.m.

Jim Mone / AP

 

Manufacturing and chemical giant 3M will pay $850 million to settle a lawsuit with the state of Minnesota over groundwater contaminated with Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs. 3M is also one of several companies named in a lawsuit over PFC contamination identified in El Paso County drinking water in 2016.

Wednesday Newscast, 7/26/17, 7:04 AM

Jul 26, 2017

Newscast for Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 7:04 AM:

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Officials at Peterson Air Force Base say they've finished drilling wells meant to help determine whether the base is to blame for potentially toxic Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs, detected in drinking water in southern El Paso County. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

The Air Force released new details yesterday about a previously reported discharge of contaminated water into the Colorado Springs sewer system at Peterson Air Force Base. Officials are now saying the discharge didn’t happen as they thought.

Thursday Newscast, 10/27/16, 5:32 PM

Oct 27, 2016

Newscast for Thursday, October 27, 2017, 5:32 PM:

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Officials at Peterson Air Force Base say 150,000 gallons of water containing perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, were mistakenly discharged into the Colorado Springs sewer system earlier this month. According to a Colorado Springs Utilities spokesperson, those PFCs have since made their way into Fountain Creek.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Attorneys with Colorado Springs-based McDivitt Law and New York firm Napoli Shkolnik are calling on the Colorado Department of Health to help pay for blood testing for people living in areas where perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, have been detected above safe levels. 

Jake Brownell / KRCC

Two Colorado based law firms filed class action suits last week over water contamination in southern El Paso County. It's the latest installment in a saga that's been ongoing since May. That was when the EPA revised their standards and announced a new health advisory for perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. The chemicals were detected above the new health advisory levels in the drinking water in Security, Widefield, and Fountain. 

Jake Brownell / KRCC

A Denver-based law firm has filed a class action suit on behalf of residents in Security, Widefield, and Fountain over drinking water contamination.

Thursday Newscast, 8/18/16, 7:04 AM

Aug 18, 2016

Newscast for Thursday, August 18, 2016, 7:04 AM:

Associated Press / Stock Photo

Peterson Air Force base announced Thursday a contract for supplying bottled water to some Security, Widefield, and Fountain residents whose tap water contains Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs.

Associated Press / Stock Photo

It's been almost two months since residents of Security, Widefield, and Fountain first learned their drinking water contained potentially unsafe levels of chemicals called Perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. And despite steps taken by local, state, and federal agencies to address the problem, many residents still wonder when they'll be able to feel confident their tap water is safe to drink. In the meantime, they're looking for alternatives.

Friday Newscast, 7/8/16, 7:04 AM

Jul 8, 2016

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Thursday Newscast, 7/7/16, 7:04 AM

Jul 7, 2016

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Jake Brownell / KRCC

Hundreds of residents of Security, Widefield and Fountain attended a community meeting Thursday to learn more about potentially harmful chemicals recently detected in area drinking water.  The chemicals are called Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs, and have been linked to low infant birth weight and other health problems.

Wednesday Newscast, 7/6/16, 7:04 AM

Jul 6, 2016

Newscast for Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


Chris Woodka / Pueblo Chieftain

The projected growth of Colorado’s Front Range has water planners looking ahead to meet the demands of the population influx.  One way to meet the growing need is for utility companies to buy water rights from farmers and ranchers and then divert that water to cover the city’s needs, commonly called “Buy & Dry.”