Counties: Make the Transition from PFAS Fire-Fighting Foam Sensible

On February 2, 2022, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee in support of SB 273 – Environment – PFAS Chemicals – Prohibitions and Requirements (George “Walter” Taylor Act) with amendments. This bill bans the use and sale of PFAS Class B fire-fighting foam on or after January 1, 2023.

From the MACo testimony

MACo has been working to identify amendments which would effectively ban PFAS foams going forward while recognizing the current limitations of local fire departments. Two possible solutions were identified which seem to strike that balance. First, amending the bill to allow for the PFAS foams after the ban. This would allow local fire departments to more reasonably transition to PFAS-free alternatives.

The second possible solution would be to establish a buyback program that would go into effect in tandem with the ban. This would give local fire departments the ability to adequately dispose of any remaining PFAS foam, while not subjecting them to an unfunded mandate.

Counties agree that it is time to transition away from the use of PFAS chemicals, but that transition should be done in a safe and sensible manner.

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