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

Bills would change how fire departments report and use firefighting foams containing PFAs

Oregon National Guard

New legislation in the state house would require more documentation for fire departments that use firefighting foams containing PFAs.

PFAs, or perfluoroalkyl substances, are a chemical contaminant that have been found across the state and are linked to health problems, including cancer.

Firefighting foams with PFAs are considered highly effective for putting out chemical fires, and many fire departments across the state still carry them.

Republican State Representative Jeff Yaroch is a former firefighter and sponsor on the package of bills. He said the legislation is important.

“It prohibits the fire service from using foam that has PFAs in it for training and it also requires firefighters to be trained on the hazards of foams with PFAs in it.”

Firefighters already report to the EGLE when using PFAs foams, but one bill in the package would create more detailed reporting requirements.

Republican State Representative Sue Allor is another sponsor on the legislation. She said fire departments will have to file reports within 48 hours.

“Where it was used, how much was used, and what efforts they put forth to contain it and making sure it’s not going towards any body of water.”

Allor said the legislation will also require the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to create a disposal program for PFAs fire fighting foams.