COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- While neighbors of Peterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Academy are still dealing with the effects of chemicals in firefighting foam that got into the environment, Gov. Jared Polis was in Colorado Springs on Monday to sign bills into law that establishes when and how PFAS can be used.
PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, has been linked to detrimental health effects when found in groundwater. The PFAS family of compounds been deemed "forever chemicals" because they do not break down in the environment.
They were created to make products like Scotchgard and Teflon and are used on military installments and airports in firefighting foam.
Until today there were little to no regulations of the dangerous chemicals in Colorado.
The new laws establish testing and use procedures for PFAS; and it also orders the solid and hazardous waste commission to create rules for facilities, fire departments, or others who want to use or store PFAS. The law also prohibits the use of class B firefighting foam that contains PFAS in certain aircraft hangars starting in 2023.
A $25 fee for every petroleum load that enters the state will also go into effect. The money collected will fund PFAS in Colorado.
"Identify places were PFAS is, to set up mitigation plans and to set up clean up plans in the groundwater, surface water, and drinking water," Sen. Pete Lee.
There are currently no federal standards for the chemicals in drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency is looking at creating enforceable regulation.
In the meantime, it's possible Colorado could create its own limits for the chemicals in drinking water, as other states have.
Rep. Tony Exum, Colorado Springs
"I think the community is stepping forward regardless of what the EPA is doing," Rep. Tony Exum. "We're hoping the EPA will join the communities in trying to establish cleaner water."