Polis signs bills at Colorado Springs fire station to protect state residents from toxic foam effects | Legislature

Gov. Jared Polis signed a wide range of payments all through the Entrance Vary Monday, together with two he mentioned will assist defend Coloradans from the results of a poisonous foam utilized in fireplace combating.

The governor signed the bipartisan payments HB20-1119, State Authorities Regulation Of Perfluoroalkyl And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), championed by El Paso County lawmakers, and SB20-218, Colorado Division Of Public Well being And Atmosphere Hazardous Substances Response, at Colorado Springs’ Fireplace Station eight on Airport Highway.

The primary invoice requires any company utilizing the chemical substances referred to as PFAS to register with the state earlier than June 1, or inside six months of acquiring the chemical substances. It additionally units requirements for the seize and disposal of the chemical substances, in addition to penalties for failing to register and/or seize and dispose.

The chemical substances have been used for many years in home goods, in addition to in a firefighting foam, and have been used at Peterson Air Pressure Base, the Air Pressure Academy and lots of of different navy installations around the globe, in response to the U.S. Division of Protection. They’ve been doubtlessly linked to well being illnesses, together with cancers, liver illness and excessive ldl cholesterol, in response to the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and the American Most cancers Society.

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Safety Company warned that water within the Widefield aquifer exceeded a well being commonplace for perfluorinated compounds of 70 elements per trillion, requiring the development of water remedy vegetation to cope with the air pollution.

The prime sponsors if HB20-1119 have been Reps. Tony Exum and Lois Landgraf, a Democrat and Republican, respectively, and Sens. Dennis Hisey and Pete Lee, a Republican and Democrat, respectively. All reside in El Paso County.

Exum, a retired Colorado Springs Fireplace Division firefighter of practically 36 years, mentioned he hopes Congress will go an identical invoice and that the Federal Aviation Administration will permit use of PFAS-free firefighting brokers, as some counterparts in Europe have completed.

“It would not work as quick, however I feel we as a rustic have to get to a spot the place we eliminate this product, as a result of it does have quite a lot of dangerous well being results,” he mentioned.

Whereas doing a invoice signing tour of the Entrance Vary, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis stopped to signal 5 payments on Monday, June 29, 2020, at Station eight of the Colorado Springs Fireplace Dept. A number of the firefighters look on because the governor indicators one of many payments into legislation. (Photograph by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

The invoice is a follow-up to final yr’s HB19-1279, Shield Public Well being Firegfighter Security Regulation PFAS Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, of which all 4 El Paso County lawmakers have been prime sponsors. That invoice prohibited the usage of class-B firefighting foam that incorporates deliberately added PFAS for coaching and/or testing, and created a civil penalty for such use. It additionally prohibited the sale of such foam in sure circumstances.

SB20-218 supplies for added sampling and monitoring of poisonous foam, in addition to a take-back program for disposing of the chemical and help for affected water provide techniques, Polis mentioned.

The invoice creates an $eight million program — paid for by a $25 per-truckload price assessed to gas manufactures — to fund the help with out burdening taxpayers, mentioned Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Longmont Democrat and a main sponsor of the Senate invoice. He known as the substances “endlessly chemical substances that have to be disposed of the appropriate means.”

“When any of us activate the faucet, we have to know the water we’re ingesting is secure,” Singer mentioned. “The very last thing you need to do is pour this down the drain or make this another person’s downside.”

Polis signed the PFAS-related payments in Colorado Springs earlier than heading to Pueblo and Fishers Peak close to Trinidad for added invoice signings associated to a wide range of points, together with rural financial growth and safety for utility clients, earlier than signing education-related payments in Pueblo and a marijuana-related invoice in Denver.

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