This is a follow up from our most recent newsletter.
Washington State is restricting firefighting foam – where is Michigan on this?
Governor Inslee to Sign First-in-Nation Legislation to Protect Drinking Water and Firefighters from Toxic Perfluorinated Chemicals
New Law Restricts Use of Firefighting Foam Containing Cancer-Causing PFAS Chemicals
(Olympia, WA) – Washington state Governor Jay Inslee will sign legislation to restrict the use of firefighting foams containing toxic perfluorinated chemicals Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 2PM in the Governor’s Conference Room at the Legislative Building in Olympia.
Washington is the first state to place restrictions on firefighting foam containing the highly persistent class of chemicals called “PFASs”. PFAS-containing firefighting foam has contaminated drinking water across the country, including in Washington state in Coupeville, Issaquah, and Airway Heights. Firefighters are exposed to the chemicals when they use the foam or wear gear that contains the chemicals.
The legislation, SB 6413, was sponsored by Senator Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim). Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) sponsored a companion bill in the House.
Specifically, the new law:
- Prohibits the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foams for training purposes beginning on July 1, 2018.
- Prohibits the sale of PFAS-containing firefighting foams for use in Washington state beginning on July 1, 2020, unless the use for which it is intended is required by federal law such as at airports, or the foam will be used by an oil refinery, oil terminal, or chemical plant for firefighting at those facilities.
- Requires that any manufacturer of PFAS-firefighting foam recall their product and reimburse retailers or other purchases once the ban on sale is in effect.
- Requires anyone selling firefighting gear containing PFAS chemicals to notify the buyer.
- Allows the Department of Ecology to request a certificate of compliance from manufacturers of PFAS-containing firefighting foam or firefighting gear.
PFASs are industrial chemicals used in some firefighting foams and firefighting gear, as well as in nonstick coatings on food packaging and in stain-resistant and waterproof coatings on carpeting, furniture, and clothing. Linked to cancer, liver toxicity, and other health effects, the chemicals are extremely persistent and can stay in the human body for as long as 8 years.
Last week, Governor Inslee signed the first ever legislation banning the use of the chemicals in paper food packaging. More information on the ban on food packaging is available at https://toxicfreefuture.org
/governor-inslee-signs-ban-non stick-chemicals-food-packaging /
March 26, 2018