Gillibrand bill further restricts PFAS-laden firefighting foam


New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is introducing a bill to place more restrictions on firefighting foams containing PFAS chemicals.

Senator Gillibrand on Wednesday announced the PFAS Firefighter Protection Act. Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee, a fellow Democrat, is introducing a companion bill in the House.

PFAS substances, linked to several ill health effects including cancer, are used as an ingredient what is referred to as aqueous film forming foam – or AFFF.

On a virtual press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gillibrand said the new bill follows similar legislation passed three years ago.

“You may be aware that in 2019 we passed a ban on the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foams on military bases. So, you may be wondering why this legislation is still needed. The truth is, that 2019 law did not affect these PFAS chemicals in other areas, particularly on training sites. My bill goes one step further to ban all manufacturing, importation, and sale under the Toxic Substances Control Act,” said Gillibrand.

The military use of firefighting foam has been linked to contamination of drinking water supplies, including in Lake Washington, the former drinking water supply for Newburgh, New York.

Representative Kildee explained that commercial airports – not just military – also used AFFF containing PFAS.

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WAMC, 28-04-22