What the Air Force is doing in response to community water contamination issues

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Leaders at Peterson Air Force Base briefed the community on Wednesday regarding the specifics of what they’re doing to make sure people are safe from the PFCs in the water.

Peterson AFB drilled 17 new wells, making a total of 24, to monitor the levels of these chemicals in the water and make sure they meet EPA regulations.

They’re also completely stopping the use of the firefighting foam that caused this problem to begin with and replacing it with a more environmentally-friendly one.

They started to use this firefighting foam back in the 1970s.

The Air Force claimed they didn’t knowingly put anybody in the community at risk during that time, but we went to Security-Widefield to see what people there had to say.

Moriah Norris said that the Air Force’s answer – that they didn’t knowingly do it – doesn’t sit right with her family.

“Not really, because I’m still worried about the affects it could have and I guess I’m in a place where I don’t necessarily trust everything that they’re saying,” said Norris.

The Air Force said there simply wasn’t enough information.

“In order to take action on anything you must have sufficient, valid information,” said Mark Correll of the Air Force.

So instead they leaned on the EPA.

“I look to the EPA to tell me ‘this is what we think you should do about it.’ and when they do, we do it,” said Correll.

We learned Wednesday that from 1990 to 2015 they dumped contaminated water used during training into the Colorado Springs sewer system.

“We did that about three times a year, depending upon how much training that we did,” said Col. Douglas Schiess of the Air Force.

“I think that’s pretty concerning. I guess I’m wondering now if I’ve been drinking contaminated water for a long time, because I’ve been down here my entire life,” said Norris.

With that said, Moriah does like that the Air Force is taking action.

“But when it comes to the health of me and my kids it’s still pretty concerning and I really just want to make sure they’re safe and taken care of, so it’s still pretty hard to digest that information. Regardless of if they meant to or not, perhaps there could have been other measures in place to keep that from happening,” said Norris.

The Air Force said it’s their job to protect the people of this country, so it would go against their mission to intentionally harm people in the community, which is why they’re doing as much as possible to fix it.

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