MACo: State Support Necessary to Tighten PFAS Restrictions

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler yesterday testified before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee to support SB 195 Environment – PFAS Chemicals – Prohibitions and Requirements with amendments. This bill increases the restrictions on the sale and use of class B firefighting foam, which contains poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

From the MACo Testimony:

SB 195 prohibits the use or sale of PFAS foam after January 1, 2022 and outlines stricter disposal requirements. MACo is informed by local firefighting departments that the cost of foam without PFAS is becoming increasingly cost-competitive compared to foam with added PFAS chemicals. The bill also includes provisions that require manufacturers or retailers of PFAS foam to recall products purchased after January 1, 2021 at no charge to the consumer.

However, some firefighting departments have an existing stock of previously purchased foam that may not be used up prior to the implementation of the ban. One firefighting truck alone could currently house upwards of $20,000 worth of foam. If properly maintained, that foam could last for several years. The State should provide assistance to these departments by either (1) creating a fund that would provide grants for fire departments to immediately transition to PFAS-free foam; or (2) establishing a waiver provision allowing the continued use of foam purchased prior to Jan 1, 2021.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

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