The U.S. Air Force will host a community stakeholder meeting in Litchfield Park to update residents and city leaders on a forever chemical that may have leaked into wells near Luke Air Force Base and the greater Litchfield area.
West Valley residents in recent years learned that the chemical, known as polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, considered a “forever chemical,” was in high concentrations in sites near Luke Air Force Base north of the Litchfield community.
According to Luke Air Force Base officials, they will host an update to inform residents of the efforts taken over the past eight years to remediate the forever chemical contamination around Luke. The meeting will be held at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Litchfield Park, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m.
Residents and stakeholders will have the opportunity to ask questions and make comments.
According to the state, the chemical has been detected around Luke and other areas and was used as a firefighting agent for highly volatile military equipment and planes. However, most wells were safely below the Environmental Protection Agency’s established standard for concentrations.
In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed levels for PFOA and PFOS to be 4 parts per trillion each. PFOS and PFOA are part of a larger group of chemicals under the PFAS family. Years prior, it was 40 ppt and before that, 70, the standard continually lowered each year with advanced testing and study on the impacts of the chemical.
According to state records, five Goodyear and Litchfield Park area water wells exceed Environmental Protection Agency standards for a cancer-causing “forever chemical.”
The chemical doesn’t break down over time and can build up in the environment and blood of humans.