REMOTE, February 24, 2022: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Colorado is now making funds available to help entities determine if their water contains chemicals found in toxic firefighting foam and other sources. If the chemicals are found above current health advisory levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency, grant funding can also be used to help reduce the contamination.
The PFAS Grant Program will leverage $1.5 million in grant funding in the program's first year. Eligible entities can apply for support in three main areas:
Sampling (for standard sampling and independent environmental studies).
Emergency assistance (for communities and water systems affected by these chemicals).
Infrastructure (treating existing contamination and developing strategies for preventing upstream sources of contamination).
The PFAS chemicals can contaminate water sources and pose risks to drinking water, the environment, and public health. Exposure can lead to adverse human health effects, including low infant birth weights, cancer, and negative immune system effects. These chemicals are sometimes present in firefighting foam, personal products, and other sources.
The state has been proactive in stopping exposure to the chemicals. It has:
Provided free sampling to over 400 water sources in 2020.
Removed nearly 10,000 gallons of PFAS firefighting foam from service by participating fire departments.
Any public water system, local public health agency, private well owners, tribal governments, any other government entity, or non-profit educational institution can apply for the grant. The deadline is April 1, 2022, and grants will be awarded by May 1, 2022. If there are funds remaining after grants are awarded, the department will likely extend the application period for additional submittals, but no later than Oct. 31, 2022.
Additionally, eligible entities and private well owners may request private well or small-scale sampling on the PFAS Projects webpage. This is to request small-scale sampling (up to five samples) before deciding to complete the entire grant application process.