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Community open house scheduled Tuesday after Air Force admits to toxic contamination of Colorado Springs-area groundwater

By: THE GAZETTE
July 25, 2017 Updated: July 25, 2017 at 2:39 pm
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A crew from Velocity Constructors, Inc., in Denver work on a new ion-exchange filter system Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at the Southmoor Water Treatment Plant for the Widefield Water and Sanitation District. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Air Force officials plan to host a community open house scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Janitell Junior High School, 7635 Fountain Mesa Road in Fountain, after the Air Force acknowledged potential guilt in fouling the drinking water of thousands of its neighbors.

The report and community open house come more than a year into a water crisis that sent thousands of people rushing to buy bottled water in 2016 while their water districts spent millions of dollars to rid their drinking water of the chemicals, known as perfluorinated compounds.

In a first-of-its-kind admission for the service, Air Force investigators confirmed that toxic firefighting foam chemicals used at Peterson Air Force Base had leached into the surrounding groundwater. The findings were outlined in a report unveiled Tuesday that examined dozens of soil and water tests over the last year at the east Colorado Springs base.

The Air Force held a closed-door meeting on the report Tuesday afternoon for a who's who of local officials, including key staffers of Colorado's congressional delegation, El Paso County commissioners, city staffers, state environmental agency officials and representatives of Pikes Peak region water districts.

A Peterson spokesman said the media were not invited to the event on the ninth floor of the Plaza of the Rockies downtown.

Read more here.

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