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4.17.19 House Bill 1279 Passes House Environmental Committee

By Liz Rosenbaum

Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition

Our House Bill 1279 passed with 8 yes votes and 2 no votes on Thursday April 11, 2019 in the Energy and Environmental Committee. And at the end this week it will be heard by the Senate, the day will be determined on Tuesday. I was able to present on behalf of the Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition and community members about the health effects we have been dealing with because of the AFFF Toxic Fire Fighting Foam contamination from the 1970’s to 2015. Fran Sylva-Blayney presented on behalf of the Fountain Creek Watershed and the Sierra Club. Other presenters included: State representation on behalf of fire fighters, Curtis Mitchel from Fountain Water District, and several other people I didn’t know. The chemical manufacturers only had one representative who stated many times they wanted the AFFF to still be used during actual fires because it puts out the fires faster than the newer foams. The State Firefighter Representative stated several times that firefighters want to use the new foam even though it takes an extra 30 seconds to put out a fire rather than dying from the horrible cancers that result from the AFFF toxic foams. When it came time for a vote Representative Larry Liston from Colorado Springs insisted he would want to put the fire out faster and he voted no (despite what the expert firefighting witness repeatedly stated). The other no vote came from Representative Lori Saine and she said she wanted to save bears in a wild fire, which has nothing to do with the purpose of this bill since AFFF is used to put out jet fuel fires and not used on forest fires. The following Representatives were yes votes: Jackson (chair), Hooten (vice chair) Froelich, Geitner, Kipp, Sirota, Landgraf, and Weissman. (Rep Valdez was absent). During the afternoon, I went to each representative’s office to thank them for their time and yes vote, and then left notes to the ones who were not in their office since there are so many committee meetings that were going on. For those of you who still want to participate with the passing of this life saving bill, you still have time! Find out more from our community page www.facebook.com/fvcwc where I update the schedules of the General Assembly and other events in our community. Also, another friendly reminder about our next coalition meeting is on April 25th at the First United Methodist Church at 6:30 pm. I received the second round of test results in the mail this week and I am just like you, I need Drs. Adgate and Starling to decipher it for me. I will have a microphone / speaker system at this meeting so it is easier to hear the presenters which was a problem last time with over 120 people in the room.

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