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Concerns Persist Over PFAS in Farmington River

PFAS, known as forever chemicals, have been linked to health risks ranging from developmental issues in fetuses and infants to certain forms of cancer.

People in Windsor are looking for answers from experts about potentially dangerous chemicals in firefighting foam.

There have been two incidents at Bradley International Airport that led to some of that foam making it into local waterways.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has spent $600,000 on the environmental cleanup following the B-17 crash.

But people who live near the airport still have concerns about the impact.

“It’s just so much part of our town’s identity,” said Eric Weiner, who lives in Windsor near the Farmington River.

There are still lots of worries about how the waterway is being affected by a potentially dangerous chemical in firefighting foam called PFAS.

PFAS, known as “forever chemicals” have been linked to health risks ranging from developmental effects in fetuses and infants and certain forms of cancer.

“I’ve been concerned about people that eat the fish nearby and what it’s going to do to the river culture and enjoyment and recreation,” he added.

PFAS, known as forever chemicals, have been linked to health risks ranging from developmental issues in fetuses and infants to certain forms of cancer.

Weiner was among those who heard from state health and environmental staff at a meeting in Windsor Wednesday.

Community members heard about testing of water, soil and fish in the area.

Following the fiery crash of the B-17 at Bradley Airport, thousands of gallons of firewater was used, some of which made it into a nearby brook.

“I’m actually feeling very optimistic. Optimistic that everything is headed in the right direction. Test numbers are coming back in a favorable direction. I think the next round of results that come back will even be better,” said Mayor Donald Trinks.

Right now people are still advised not to eat fish from the Farmington River, an advisory which was put in place after a previous release of firefighter foam in June.

Crews are also waiting for results from soil samples before deciding if wells should also be tested.

“It’s a step-by-step process where we have environmental sampling conducted through the soil samples first. If we have confirmation of an impact then we will determine next steps,” explained Ray Grigon, DEEP’s assistant director of the Remediation Division.

While crews say they have learned lessons to help contain the foam, some are hoping there’s a better solution.

“We obviously want the safety firefighting equipment we can. But do we have a firefighter equipment that’s a little more environmentally friendly?” Trinks asked.

The results from the soil samples connected to the drinking water are expected in December.

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