Michigan begins collection of PFAS containing firefighting foam

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1,200 gallons. That’s how much of the toxic contaminant containing firefighting foam that was removed from the Lansing Fire Department as well as the Capital Regional International Airport today. It’s all part of a $1.4 million disposal program. 

“Very few states have been able to do this so far where we are going to collect the AFFF, this firefighting foam that has those PFAS in them and get them disposed of properly so that they don’t cause more contamination,” said MPART Executive Director, Steve Sliver.

The Fire Marshall for the State of Michigan says nearly half of the fire departments surveyed had the forever chemical in their inventories. The funding is critical to removing PFAS from our communities. 

“This is a great opportunity to do it all at one time. It helps the fire services. It helps the fire department. But ultimately, it potentially has a positive impact on our environment,” said State Fire Marshal, Kevin Sehlmeyer.

US Ecology will assist in transporting the chemicals to a facility in Grand View, Idaho. In Grand view the chemicals will be solidified and placed in a licensed hazardous waste landfill.        

“That decision is important to Grand view because it is an arid land field and there should be no leachate or very minimal, so that is the best place for this PFAS contaminant,” said US Ecology Director of Government and Community Relations, Alex Hurley.   

More than 34,000 gallons in total are expected to be collected. Firefighters now use a different application that won’t harm the environment or end up in drinking water.                 

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