AFFF FIREFIGHTING FOAM SYSTEM REPLACEMENT
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Trending State PFAS Bans
In July 2020, firefighting foam containing PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) was banned for sale within the State of Washington (Senate Bill 6413).* This is the first state that bans that impacts all firefighting foam systems that utilize fluorine-based foam, including AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam). Additional states banning PFAS-containing foam systems and products is listed below.
AFFF is commonly used in facilities to suppress high-hazard flammable liquid fires like jet fuels and gasoline. The presence of PFAS requires these systems to be replaced.
A discharge incident could result in significant business disruption and a potential release of PFAS contaminants to the environment. The discharge incident could be inadvertent (more likely), or due to fire. Also, and more importantly, if your facility is following NFPA and/or insurance requirements for annual testing, this can use up foam concentrate, leaving the system impaired without a discharge incident. The system could be impaired for a significant amount of time without the ability to purchase replacement foam.
Assessing your system in advance may prevent unexpected shutdowns or delays
Each facilities’ equipment, hazards, and business operations are unique. If your facility utilizes foam containing PFAS, Coffman recommends performing a foam system replacement study to review the current foam system design and hazards protected. This study will help to inform decisions on cost-effective system replacement options that can protect your facility and reduce business disruption.
Determine if your foam system should be replaced with our ‘Commonly Asked Questions’ guide. Download the guide by filling out the form on this page.
CASE STUDY: AFFF Replacement Results in Cost Savings for Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
Coffman was engaged by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to review replacement options for an existing AFFF foam-water sprinkler system at their South King Center facility. Coffman was able to determine that the hazards protected by the existing system could be protected with a water-based fire suppression system utilizing an alternate means and method, which was accepted by the local Fire Marshal.
Replacing an existing foam-water sprinkler system with water-based fire protection is not a solution for all hazards, however, this solution saves PSE on the cost associated with the system replacement and future costs associated with system maintenance.
planned bans and legislation.
- New Hampshire restricts the sale of PFAS containing foam with exemptions (Rev. Statute 154:8-b) 1/1/2020.
- Washington bans the sale of firefighting foam containing PFAS (Senate Bill 6413) 7/1/2020.
- Colorado prohibits the sale of PFAS-containing foam with exceptions starting 8/2/2021 (House Bill 19-1279).
- New York bans the sale of PFAS-containing foam with exceptions by 12/23/2021 (Senate Bill S439A).
- California law bans the manufacture, sale, and use of PFAS in most applications by 1/1/2022 (Senate Bill 1044).
- Illinois bans the manufacture, sale, and use of PFAS in most applications by 1/1/2022 (Senate Bill 561).
- Maine prohibits the sale or distribution of foam with PFAS substances that have been added by 1/1/2022 (Legislative Document 1505).
- Vermont prohibits the manufacture, sale, and distribution of PFAS-containing foam by 10/1/2023 (Senate Bill 20).
- Washington State phased ban of PFAS begins for chemical plants and oil refineries by 1/1/2024 (House Bill 2265).
- DOD phases out the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam in accordance with NDAA FY2020 by 10/1/2024.
- Learn more about PFAS.
- EPA published federal action plan for PFAS and is implementing that plan.
- Washington State Department of Ecology – Toxics in firefighting law
- The Spokesman-Review – Washington bans firefighting chemicals that may cause cancer
- Chemical Watch – Expert Focus: US States outpace EPA on PFAS Firefighting Foam Laws
- California Law Bans Toxic PFAS Firefighting Foam