Wed. Apr 21st, 2021

By ANITA, associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) – The US Air Force says it will distribute bottled water to thousands of residents and business owners near its base in suburban Phoenix by at least April, marking the latest case of chemicals from military firefighting efforts. Will contaminate the supply. Nearby community.

Luke Air Force Base announced this month that studies showed high levels of contaminants affected drinking water for about 1,600 homes as well as about 6,000 people in some neighboring businesses.

A contractor is scheduling the delivery of drinking water to the homes of people taking their first bottles this week, said Sean Cleels, head of public affairs for the 56th Fighter Wing, on the grounds. It was said in April that a long-term filtration facility would be set up by April.

Aadhaar has advised people to use bottled water for drinking and cooking, but tap water is considered safe for bathing and washing clothes.

Similar contamination tied to the use of firefighting foam has been found in water supplies near dozens of military sites Arizona, Colorado And has commissioned other states and hundreds of lawsuits. Increasing evidence that it is dangerous to be exposed to chemicals found in foam has prompted the US Environmental Protection Agency to consider setting maximum levels for those chemicals in drinking water.

But they are no longer regulated, meaning Aadhaar cannot be penalized, although the EPA states that the chemicals stay in the body for long periods of time and may adversely affect health.

The Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities, is scheduling an emergency meeting next week with five water companies to discuss concerns about contamination, said Caroline Oppalman, spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Opelman said his agency is working with Aadhaar, regulators and federal and local authorities to take action to ensure healthy drinking water for residents.

Last week, a statement from Luke Air Force Base said that the test detected levels of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate above the EPA’s health advisory as to how much a person should drink in drinking water during their lifetime.

The so-called Forever Chemicals from the class known as PFAS were found during the water trials of the Valley Utilities Water Company. The compounds are used in many industrial and consumer products and in the armed services to extinguish foam and fuel fires used by commercial industries. .

The company said its water meets all EPA and Arizona drinking water standards and does not require any treatment because PFAS is not regulated by federal or other environmental agencies. Chief Financial Officer Brian Thomas said the utility is still working on “additional samples and potential water treatment options”.

General Gregory Creuder, commander of Brigadier Luke Air Force Base, said a study showed that the chemicals affected nearby properties “supplying wells that provide drinking water”.

“We share community concerns about the potential impact of these compounds on drinking water,” he said.

The contamination problem is well known in the neighborhood new Mexico, Where chemicals from many locations leach into the local water supply.

The state filed a lawsuit against the US Air Force in 2019 against groundwater contamination at Cannon and Holman airports, stating that the federal government has the responsibility to clean up the plethora of toxic chemicals left behind by previous military shelling activities.

In court documents, the state described the contamination found in the grounds as shocking, saying that it went into public and private wells that provide drinking water and livestock and irrigation water to the surrounding communities.

New Mexico said its dairy industry is affected by residential and commercial property values.

This year, the state challenged the decision by a federal court to combine its lawsuit over contamination at Air Force bases, with similar litigation brought by hundreds of other courts.

The Office of the Attorney General of New Mexico and the State Department of the Environment have decided to centralize claims that violate the sovereignty of the state and may cause further damage to public health and the environment.

The US Air Force Academy said in 2019 that unsafe levels of PFAS chemicals were found in groundwater at four sites on the Colorado Springs campus south of Denver. The chemicals have also been discovered around Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

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