The Security Water District and Venetucci Farm’s owner are suing the federal government for at least $18.3 million amid allegations that the Air Force ignored its policies on hazardous waste disposal for decades, tainting a key aquifer and leaving the fabled farm dry and contaminated.The lawsuit by the water district and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation marks a new legal front in the expanding battle to hold agencies and companies responsible for fouling the Widefield aquifer, which is saturated with per- and polyfluorinated substances, also called PFAS. The toxins were used for decades in a firefighting foam at Peterson Air Force Base, as well as in many household nonstick items.Previous claims brought by thousands of El Paso County residents challenged the foam’s manufacturers and distributors, as the federal government is largely immune from lawsuits over actions of the military. Colorado senators join forces to hasten clean up of water contaminated by firefighting foam toxinsBut in a break from that trend, the latest lawsuit targets the U.S. government under the Federal Tort and Claims Act, citing the actions of Air Force personnel dating to the 1970s.“It was a very difficult decision,” said Roy Heald, manager of Security Water and Sanitation Districts…. Read full this story
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