COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The U.S. Air Force Academy announced on Thursday the Air Force will be conducting "expanded Site Inspections" in the coming months to assess potential risk to drinking water wells south of the Academy.
The expanded testing is expected to take place in the Woodmen Valley Area, parts south of the Academy along Woodmen Road and west of I-25. Monument Creek runs through the Academy and into the Woodmen Valley area. 11 News is working to find out more specific details on the possible impacted areas. The Academy did not have more information on who specifically could be impacted.
The U.S. Air Force Academy is reporting Colorado Springs Utilities is not impacted by this. It isn't clear what wells or what specific water districts will be part of the testing.
“We share community concerns about the possible impacts past use of these chemicals may have on human drinking water sources,” said Col. Brian Hartless, 10th Air Base Wing commander in a release. “We will work closely with AFCEC to protect human health and conduct a thorough inspection to ensure safe drinking water.”
PFOS and PFOA are components that were used in firefighting by the Air Force. The Air Force Civil Engineer Center confirmed the groundwater samples from several areas on the Academy were above EPA standards in drinking water tied to past firefighting activities. Colorado Springs Utilities supplies drinking water to the Air Force Academy and has not detected the compounds at its water treatment facilities above the method reporting limit.
"However, because levels above the LHA were found in groundwater on the Academy, drinking water wells south of the base could be impacted," the release from the Academy read.
Click here for more on the Air Force's response to PFOS and PFOA.
WHAT ARE PFOS AND PFOA?
Perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, are a group of manmade chemicals used for a wide variety of residential, commercial and industrial purposes including: nonstick cookware, stain-resistant fabric and carpet, some food packaging and firefighting foam.
In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency established health advisory levels in drinking water for two types of PFCs - perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOS and PFOA are classified as emerging contaminants because they do not have established regulatory standards, but evolving science has identified potential risk to humans and regulatory standards are under consideration.
Click here for the entire release sent out by the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Attorneys with McDivitt Law Firm had already been working with clients whose water was originally contaminated in Fountain and Security Widefield. They say they're now investigating the possibility of taking more claims.
"What we are working very hard to establish at McDivitt Law Firm is proving the link between the medical conditions and the chemicals that were in the foam and then establishing that we can hold the manufacturers liable for that," said David McDivitt.