(Drink up! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
The Trump administration is refusing to regulate two toxic chemicals known to contaminate the drinking water of many Americans, including tens of thousands of families near Colorado Springs.
The decision by Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has angered many Republicans in Congress, but not Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner.
This is despite the fact that studies have shown that nearly 80,000 people living near Peterson Air Force Base, just southeast of Colorado Springs, are exposed to dangerously high levels of contamination and have been for years.
[Gardner] told POLITICO he expected there would be a federal role in regulating the chemicals, but he wanted to see the results of a health study included in the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
“I think it’s very important that we get as much information as we can and then act appropriately,” he said.
The study Sen. Gardner is referring to won’t begin until August of this year and will take five to seven years to complete. Funded by the Department of Defense and conducted by the Health & Human Services’ Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the national study of eight sites near U. S. military bases may or may not include the Peterson AFB site.
The chemicals known collectively as PFAS have been largely phased out of industrial use in the United States, but are still found in the fire retardant foam used to fight petroleum-based fires.
Numerous studies linked these chemicals to kidney cancer, liver damage, increased risk of thyroid disease, decreased fertility and other health threats.
Last summer the Trump administration attempted to block its own Department of Health and Human Services from releasing an 852-page “toxicological profile” summarizing the “adverse health effects information for these toxic substances.”
In December 2018 the Colorado School of Mines released a study of people living near of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Research showed levels of a particular PFAS toxic compound, PFHxS, at ten times the national average.
This followed a 2017 health assessment by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) that found higher rates of cancer among the Peterson AFB communities of Fountain and Security-Widefield.