City seeks compensation to clean up ground water chemicals

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The City of Fairbanks is seeking compensation for the efforts to clean up perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, which have contaminated ground water in Fairbanks. According to City Communications Director, Teal Soden, the city first discovered the chemicals in 2015 at the Regional Fire Training Center. An investigation found the PFC's came from the foam that was being used by firefighters during training.

Soden says even though the original site at the Fire Training Center has been excavated, the only thing the city can really do is track the chemical, as removing it is not possible. She says the city has spent nearly $4 million since the discovery, and the foam used has since been changed.

"All of the local fire agencies that used the firefighting foam, that had those toxic chemicals, had no idea that they were contaminating the water. And so we have hired two outside agencies to help us look at pursuing claims against the manufacturer of the firefighting foam," she said.