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Fountain City Council Hears from Air Force, Health Officials regarding groundwater contamination

 

November 1, 2017



At the Oct. 24 Fountain City Council meeting, Mayor Gabe Ortega gave a brief summary about his visit to Washington, D.C. the previous day. He was part of a local delegation that traveled there, which included leaderhip from all three of Fountain Valley’s wate rproviders-Fountain Utilities, Security Water District and Widefield Water District.

He said they met with the Department of the Air Force officials at the Pentagon as well as with congressional staff on Capitol Hill.

The visit was focused on the continued efforts to properly address the negative impacts on water quality caused by Perflourinated Compounds (PFCs), a component of firefighting foam that was previously used at Peterson Air Force Base and was discovered in local ground water.

Mayor Ortega expressed appreciation to State Representative Lois Landgraf and Congressmen Doug Lamborn especially for making the visit to Washington, D.C. possible.

He said the delegation’s visit was the first of its kind for a city dealing with these type of water issues and he hoped Fountain and its local counterparts could show leadership in this area for other communities also faced with PFC issues.

He said it was important to be seen, so that leaders in Washington, D.C. would have faces to go with the issues.

“We traveled to Washington to ensure that both the Air Force and our congressional leadership were very clear on the challenges we face regarding this issue with PFCs, as well as to personally convey our desire to work together with them to provide solutions for our communities, and ease the significant financial burden this contamination has imposed on our water utilities,” he said later. “I think our meetings were very productive. Our discussions at both the Pentagon and at Capitol Hill focused on our need for more financial assistance, improved transparency, better communication, and on developing written agreements on how we will work together into the future on mitigating the effects of PFCs in our water supply. We found the Air Force both receptive and willing to explore ways to help, and our congressional leadership engaged, supportive and also looking for solutions.”

Visiting last week’s council meeting last week was a delegation from Peterson Air Force Base, led by Colonel Eric Dorminey, Vice-Commander of the 21st Space Wing, as well as representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and State Representative Landgraf, all of whom expressed how seriously they take the water contamination matters.

Colonel Dorminey said that the issue hits home because many of those under his command live in the Fountain Valley community.

He resolved to work closely with the city and said he was dedicated to staying in better communication.

Several councilmembers expressed their frustration over how they felt that Fountain had been left out of the loop on communication previously.

Col. Dorminey said their objectives are to be as transparent as possible and to foster growth in the partnership with the City of Fountain.

 

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