NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Peters urges federal agency to expedite plans for PFAS-free firefighting foam

AFFF testing
Tracy Lee Didas
U.S. National Archives
Crewmen test the aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) firefighting system on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) in 1987.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters sent a letter to a federal agency urging them to expedite their plans to find an alternative for firefighting foam that contains PFAS chemicals.

AFFF is the only firefighting foam that can take the heat of jet fuel fires. But it also contains PFAS chemicals, and those “forever chemicals” are a primary source of contamination in communities with airports and air force bases.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to release a “transition plan” to a PFAS-free alternative by May 6.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters’ letter stresses the urgency of meeting that deadline. The letter is cosigned by three other US senators.

"Delay would be unacceptable, not only to our nation’s airports, but also to the neighboring communities working to address PFAS contamination," the letter reads. "FAA must also ensure Congress has time to act on any potential recommendations as we work to craft the upcoming FAA reauthorization bill."

Other federal agencies have fallen behind on their promises to address PFAS, including the EPA, Department of Defense, and Food and Drug Administration.

In the meantime, AFF is still being used, but only in the event of an emergency.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corp Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She is covering rural environmental issues, public health and Michigan commerce. Homsi has a bachelor’s from Central Michigan University in environmental studies, journalism and anthropology. During her undergraduate, she was a beat reporter for CMU’s student newspaper Central Michigan Life and interned for the Huron Daily Tribune. She has also interned for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy in the superfund section. *Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms, more info at
Related Content