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EPA Gears Up for PFAS Community Engagement Event in Colorado Springs Next Week

08/03/2018
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WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the full agenda for the two-day per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) community engagement in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Hotel Eleganté Conference & Event Center. Following the historic National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. in May and Community Engagement events in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, this event allows EPA to hear directly from Colorado communities, Mountain West states, and local and tribal partners about their experiences with PFAS.

“It is critical that EPA hear from Colorado communities about their experiences with PFAS,” said EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento. “The development of a National PFAS management plan would not be complete without that input – we are here to listen.”

“This listening session and workshop provide an important opportunity for the EPA to hear from the community about their experiences with water contaminated by PFAS,” said Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). “I am hopeful this community engagement will help inform the Agency's administrative actions concerning contaminant levels and clean-up standards, and I appreciate the EPA choosing the communities around Peterson Air Force Base as ones they want to hear from.”

“Ensuring that our communities have safe drinking water is one of my top priorities. I am pleased the EPA is listening to and working with our local communities who may be affected by PFOS/PFOA exposure. I will continue to help facilitate coordination like this between local and federal authorities,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05). 

 
 

Additional details will be posted on the PFAS Community Engagement Website.

Both days are open to the public and the press. If you are interested in attending the event, walk-in registration is available and welcome to all. Those interested in speaking can sign up when registering. 

Please check back at the PFAS Community Engagement website for further information leading up to the event. Citizens are also encouraged to submit written statements to the public docket at https://www.regulations.gov/ enter docket number: OW-2018-0270.

Addressing PFAS is a national priority. At the National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. in May, EPA announced a four-step action plan:

  1. EPA will initiate steps to evaluate the need for a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFOA and PFOS. We will convene our federal partners and examine everything we know about PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
  2. EPA is beginning the necessary steps to propose designating PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” through one of the available statutory mechanisms, including potentially CERCLA Section 102.
  3. EPA is currently developing groundwater cleanup recommendations for PFOA and PFOS at contaminated sites and will complete this task by fall of this year.
  4. EPA is taking action in close collaboration with our federal and state partners to develop toxicity values for GenX and PFBS by this summer.

Background

PFAS is a group of man-made chemicals that have been widely used in everyday products since the 1940s. But PFAS compounds also can enter the environment, raising concerns about the potential environmental and health risks. 

EPA conducted similar engagements in New Hampshire in June, Pennsylvania in July, and will be headed to North Carolina in August. These community engagement events are critical to understand ways the Agency can best support the work that’s being done at the state, local, and tribal levels. Using information from the National Leadership Summit, community engagements, and public input provided by the docket, EPA plans to develop a PFAS Management Plan for release later this year.

To learn more about PFAS, please visit: www.epa.gov/pfas