Aggressively addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continues to be an active and ongoing priority according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 8, which includes the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, as well as 27 Tribal Nations. Region 8 is working closely with several States, Tribes and local communities affected by PFAS, including ongoing efforts to investigate contamination and protect water and drinking water resources in Colorado and South Dakota.
PFAS are found in a wide array of consumer and industrial products. PFAS manufacturing and processing facilities, facilities using PFAS in production of other products, airports, and military installations are some of the identified contributors of PFAS releases into the air, soil, and water. Due to their widespread use and persistence in the environment, there is evidence that continued exposure above specific levels to certain PFAS may lead to adverse health effects.
“EPA Region 8 is focused on supporting our Federal, State and local partners as they investigate and respond to PFAS concerns affecting water resources in our communities,” says Gregory Sopkin, USEPA Regional Administrator. “I commend our partners in Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming for successfully navigating many challenges to make sure people are receiving safe drinking water. We will continue to provide community engagement, technical expertise, and other resources necessary to secure public health as we move forward with key actions under the national PFAS Action Plan.”
Highlights of USEPA Region 8 activities include a multi-year effort with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), El Paso County, the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Air Force, affected public water systems, and other entities to mitigate exposures from PFAS in drinking water and address community concerns near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Region 8 is also working with the State of South Dakota, the City of Box Elder, and the Department of Defense at Ellsworth Air Force Base to address PFAS contamination, including providing technical assistance and public engagement.
The USEPA’s regional actions complement the efforts being made under the national PFAS Action Plan, which can be accessed here.