Congress Holds Hearings on PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’

Congressional committee continues to investigate the risks of  per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) forever chemicals. An initial hearing in March focused on human health, a second hearing in July considered communities and the third hearing in September addressed corporate accountability.

PFAS are chemicals designed to be resistant to degradation, and are used as fire retardants and for stain protection, non-slip surfaces and food protection purposes under the brand names of Teflon and Scotchguard. They are termed ‘forever chemicals’ and are now present in natural water, drinking water and in the blood of more than 99% of Americans.

The risks and impact of these chemicals was not well understood when the Clean Water Act of 1972 was written and now is the time for a better understanding of the impact and risks and the potential control and remediation options. The Trump administration is resisting these efforts.

The Boulder Creek watershed has two sites with measurable PFAS contamination.

House Committee on Oversight and Reform – PFAS Contamination and the Need for Corporate Accountability September 11, 2019

Boulder Waterkeeper Joins CDPHE PFAS Narrative Policy Work Group

Boulder Waterkeeper attended the initial Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) work group developing a narrative policy on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminants. Attended by over 60 individuals representing government agencies, municipalities, airports, industry, legal, water treatment, environment advocates and concerned citizens the work group is targeting a proposed policy for PFAS monitoring and management that will be presented for adoption at the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission in May 2020. PFAS are a emerging contaminate related to fire retardants and household products that the EPA has declared toxic. There are two known PFAS sites in the Boulder Creek watershed, the extent and severity of contamination statewide is unknown. CDPHE is moving forward to engage the public with a fine balance between attention and anxiety.