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Fire marshal visiting departments to eliminate outdated foam

Flickr User Steve White

The state fire marshal is surveying over a thousand fire departments across Michigan to extinguish the use of an outdated - and potentially dangerous- firefighting foam.

The foam contains a family of chemicals calls PFA’s. Those chemicals can contaminate groundwater if they’re not properly disposed of.

PFA groundwater contamination has been found in Alpena and Oscoda, near former military bases.

Kevin Sehlmeyer is the State Fire Marshal. He said the state is looking to eliminate what’s called class B foam.

“Many of these departments have never used it but we need to know if it’s there so that we can look at a way to get it replaced and then ultimately to get it disposed of properly so that it doesn’t end up in the environment.”

Sehlmeyer said the best way to dispose of the foam is ironically, to incinerate it.

He said any departments that have the foam should ensure it is disposed of properly and replaced with a new foam that doesn’t contain PFA’s.