Peterson Air Force Base — The Latest on the investigation into the disappearance of tainted wastewater from an Air Force base in Colorado Springs (all times local):
The Air Force doesn’t think wastewater tainted with toxic chemicals was released from a base in Colorado after all.
Col. Douglas Schiess (Shess) said Wednesday that 20,000 gallons of wastewater held in an open pit disappeared, but evaporation in hot weather was determined to be the likely culprit, rather than a discharge.
Officials originally said that 150,000 gallons of water contaminated by chemicals used in firefighting foam disappeared from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, flowed into the city’s wastewater treatment system but didn’t get into drinking water.
Schiess says that firefighters overestimated how much wastewater was in a storage tank and that, along with miscommunications, led commanders to believe that 150,000 gallons were missing.
The water is moved back and forth between a tank and an open pit as part of fire training.
Military and civilian authorities are investigating whether any laws were broken in the unexplained discharge of 150,000 gallons of wastewater tainted with toxic chemicals at an Air Force base in Colorado.
Officials said Tuesday the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are looking into the release of the contaminated wastewater at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.
Officials said the chemicals flowed into the city’s wastewater treatment system but didn’t get into its drinking water.
The discharge was discovered on Oct. 12 and announced six days later.
Air Force officials have scheduled a news conference Wednesday to discuss the incident and other issues surrounding the chemicals, called perfluorinated compounds or PFCs.
PFCs are used in firefighting foam and have been linked to cancer and other illnesses.
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