Peterson Air Force Base (PAFB) is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dozens of drinking water wells in Security, Widefield and Fountain are contaminated with PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a fire suppressant agent, used at the PAFB, is the likely source of PFAS contamination in groundwater.
LCDR Kai Elgethun, Ph.D., MPH
(208) 378-5744 – FAX
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) APPLETREE (ATSDR’s Partnership to Promote Local Efforts to Reduce Environmental Exposure) program is providing health education and outreach to the CDPHE water quality team, the lead for this site. ATSDR will continue to provide technical, health education and community support to the APPLETREE staff.
ATSDR will conduct a PFAS Exposure Assessment in this community in 2020.
PFAS groundwater contamination has been found at the U.S. Air Force Academy, which has likely migrated beyond the facility boundaries. About 75 off base private drinking water wells are located within 1 mile of the US Air Force Academy. Over 200 off base private wells are located within 2 miles. Ongoing groundwater investigations will determine the extent of PFAS groundwater contamination. If needed, PFAS sampling of private off-base drinking water wells will likely occur this fall.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CO DPHE), with technical assistance from ATSDR Region 8 staff, will participate in federal and state facility specific per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) coordination meetings. The meetings will be held in the fall 2019 or 2020. The Colorado Department of Health and the Environment (CO DPHE) will participate in public information meetings to answer PFAS health-related questions from the public. ATSDR will provide PFAS health education material. CO DPHE staff will answer individual private drinking water consumer questions about PFAS contamination.
In 2017, the U.S. Air Force identified PFAS groundwater contamination at the Ellsworth Air Force Base. The PFAS groundwater contamination has migrated beyond the base boundaries and contaminated some local private drinking water well. In 2018, the U.S. Air Force requested ATSDR provide support at/near Ellsworth AFB during public meetings regarding the base-related PFAS drinking water contamination. The Air Force also requested that ATSDR provide PFAS-specific public health education to potentially impacted individuals.