PHOENIX – The Arizona Corporation Commission has launched an investigation into the recent announcement from Luke Air Force Base that several wells serving customers in Valley Utilities Water Company tested over the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lifetime Health Advisory for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
According to the Commission, Valley Utilities is located just west of Luke Air Force Base and serves an average 825,000 gallons of water per day to approximately 4700 people. All 4700 people have been advised by the Base to use bottled water for drinking and cooking until further notice. The PFOA and PFOS contamination has been traced to foam the Base has been using in its fire training exercises since 1970.
“The Corporation Commission has the power to examine the books and records of the utilities we regulate,” Commissioner Anna Tovar stated. “We have the power to make sure customers are informed and we have the power to make sure the remediation is reasonable, prudent, and lasting.”
PFOS and PFOA contamination is linked to adverse health effects including cancer and developmental issues in fetuses and infants. They are known as “forever chemicals,” meaning that without treatment, they will remain in the water indefinitely.
On Wednesday, March 3, the Commission will convene for an Emergency Open Meeting to discuss the situation and question the utilities serving the area surrounding the Base.