U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

By: - June 24, 2021 2:26 pm

Fire fighters still use foam to put out petroleum fires like this one at an ExxonMobil petroleum storage facility in 2003 in New York City. The foam can contain polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which are known as forever chemicals because they don’t break down easily and have contaminated ground water. (Photo by Mike Hvozda/USCG/Getty Images)

In 2015, the communities of Widefield, Fountain and Security in El Paso County detected levels of contamination in drinking water well above federal limits. The chemicals have been linked to firefighting foam used at Peterson Air Force Base. Findings of state tests performed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment did not find PFAS levels in drinking water that violated a federal health advisory, but they did identify elevated levels in some groundwater sources, including the mouth of Sand Creek in Commerce City, where many industrial sites treat and dump wastewater.

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Ariana Figueroa
Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.