Ohio Announces Program to Assist Public Entities in Disposing of PFAS-Containing Firefighting Foam


On January 29, Governor DeWine announced a new statewide initiative aimed at eliminating a common fire suppression material called Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). AFFF, also known as firefighting foam, is a fire suppression method that uses a foam blanket to extinguish fire. AFFF typically contains polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a contaminant that has received much attention in recent years and is a current focus of environmental regulators, as new information has come to light on the apparent negative health and environmental impacts of PFAS.

Thousands of PFAS chemicals are widely used in many consumer, commercial, and industrial products. PFAS compounds break down very slowly over time and are therefore ubiquitous in a variety of food products and the environment. These unique characteristics make PFAS hard to study and assess.

In 2021, U.S. EPA announced its PFAS Strategic Roadmap, a whole-of-agency approach to regulating PFAS using the full breadth and scope of environmental laws and regulations available to US EPA. States have similarly taken action to varying degrees. In Ohio, Governor DeWine ordered the development of a PFAS Action Plan in 2019 to sample every public drinking water system in the state for certain PFAS compounds.

Governor DeWine’s new AFFF Takeback Program is a partnership between Ohio EPA, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and Batelle, which has developed a new technology to destroy PFAS in AFFF to non-detectable levels. The Program received $3 million in funding, which will be available to all Ohio fire departments, local governments, and government-owned airports.

For more information on PFAS or how to participate in the State’s AFFF Takeback program, please reach out to Bricker Graydon’s team of environmental and public sector attorneys.

Read more: https://governor.ohio.gov/media/news-and-media/governor-dewine-announces-project-to-destroy-toxic-firefighting-foam

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