Frisco will remain a part of lawsuit settlements over PFAS contamination

The Colorado mountain town discovered the 'forever chemicals' in one of its wells in 2020 but has since taken that well offline

The Frisco Town Hall is pictured on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.
Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News

The town of Frisco will remain a part of two class-action lawsuit settlements related to pollutants known as PFAS, which have been discovered in municipal water supplies throughout the country.

The Frisco Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Nov. 14, to remain part of the lawsuit settlement, rather than to opt out. The town discovered PFAS in Well 7 in 2020 after signing up for a voluntary sampling project.

The PFAS levels at the time fell below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level for the substances at the time but the well was nonetheless taken offline and has remained offline since, according to the town.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are manufactured chemicals that resist grease, oil, water and heat and have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. 

Studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. PFAS have sometimes been called “forever chemicals” because they break down very slowly in the environment.

The class-action settlements on behalf of municipalities nationwide involve 3M and Dupont, two of the original manufacturers of PFAS chemicals, according to Frisco Town Attorney Thad Renaud.

Because Frisco only experienced a small amount of PFAS in one of its wells, and has worked with Colorado Department Public Health and Environment to receive a grant to study and implement remedial measures, the town has not incurred substantial monetary damages and doesn’t expect to in the future, Renaud said during the Tuesday meeting.

At this time, it cannot be predicted how much the town or any other water supplier that is a part of the lawsuit may receive in settlement funds, he added.

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