Governor Lamont signs a law banning the use of fire-fighting foam containing PFAS in October and phasing out food packaging containing PFAS in 2023
Law strengthens Governor Lamont’s 2019 PFAS action plan and continues state efforts to eliminate “chemicals forever” from the environment
(WINDSOR, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today hosted a bill signing ceremony alongside the Farmington River in Windsor to commemorate the passage of new state law banning the use of fire-fighting foam and food packaging containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Commonly referred to as PFAS, the large group of man-made “eternal chemicals” are used in a variety of materials and products around the world.
Concretely, the new law, Public law 21-191, Law on the Use of PFAS Substances in Class B Fire Fighting Foams, prohibits the use of fire-fighting foam containing PFAS, or “AFFF”, as of October 1, 2021. As of now, AFFF is not permitted for use in training activities. In addition, the law is also phasing out food packaging containing PFAS by 2023, clearly showing the food and packaging industries the state’s desire for safe packaging and giving time. it is up to these industries to develop safe alternatives.
It advances two key objectives of Governor Lamont PFAS Action Plan 2019: Minimize future releases of PFAS to the environment and minimize human health risks from PFAS to Connecticut residents. The action plan was developed by the Connecticut Interagency PFAS Working Group, which was created in 2019 by Governor Lamont and led by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Public Health, with the help of many other agencies, including the Department of emergency and State Public Protection. It met a month after the accidental release of PFAS from an aircraft hangar at Bradley International Airport and three months before the tragic B-17 crash at Bradley in which foam containing PFAS was used to extinguish the resulting fire.
“This new law makes Connecticut residents safer, clearer and more straightforward,” Governor Lamont said. “Reducing the potential for another release of these chemicals forever into our environment and reducing the amount of PFAS-containing products circulating in our state is the right thing to do for the health of Connecticut residents and our environment. This was identified as a priority when we convened the task force two years ago, and I’m happy to see this happening and that I can sign this into law.
“Public law 21-191 relies heavily on the work already carried out by the PFAS working group to work with municipalities as part of our AFFF takeover program”, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Betsey Wingfield said. “This law provides the mechanism to ensure that AFFF is withdrawn from circulation and replaced with a safer alternative, and also reduces the amount of products containing PFAS that residents will come into contact with in their daily lives. I congratulate the speakers, the legislators and Governor Lamont, who have championed this important legislation.
Public Law 21-191 mandates a take-back program in which the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has already been engaged to collect AFFF foam free of charge from municipal fire departments. The take-back program is funded by an allowance of $ 2 million approved by the State Bond Commission in July 2020. To date, 170 fire departments have requested the pickup of their existing foam inventories. A total of 50 municipalities have completed the take-back program, with over 6,000 gallons of foam containing PFAS collected to date.
Prior to starting the take-back program, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in partnership with the State Fire Administrator and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, identified a fire-fighting foam without PFAS, National UniversaI®F3 Green, which can be used effectively to extinguish fires without risking environmental impacts or harming the health of residents. Local fire departments can order the foam through a state contract to ensure their foam is safe and effective.
- Twitter: @GovNedLamont
- Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont