Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) Legislation Sweeping the US
NCMA needs your help!
Legislation that would limit (and or ban) the use of AFFF has been introduced since the first of the year in many state legislatures across the United States. We are expecting to see such legislation in North Carolina this year as well.
AFFF was first developed at the request of the US Navy and the foams have been effective in quickly controlling fires on vessels, around airports, rail facilities, some electric generation facilities, and in certain manufacturing settings. The growing criticism of AFFF is that they contain various perfluoroalkyl and/or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
NCMA is aware of at least one bill that will be introduced this session that would, at a minimum, limit the use of AFFF to actual firefighting, and prohibit use of AFFF for firefighter training and testing purposes. Based on our communications, we believe that the bill will also call for a ban on the use of AFFF within three (3) years. The problem with an out-right ban is that there is no acceptable substitute for AFFF.
In response to the multitude of AFFF bills being filed across the country, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) developed a model bill. The model bill limits the use of AFFF to just fighting fires, effectively banning its use in training and testing. Bills that are similar to the ACC model bill have been introduced across the country. In the ACC’s southeastern region, bills have been introduced in Georgia, Texas, Kentucky and Virginia. The Virginia bill has received unanimous votes in the House and Senate and is awaiting the signature of the Governor.
For your reference, we have provided links to a copy of the ACC’s model bill and a copy of the Virginia legislation.
Knowing that a bill will be introduced in North Carolina, and that that bill will very likely contain language calling for a ban on the future use of AFFF (as well as other bans on use of PFAS in food packaging, etc), NCMA is entertaining the idea of seeking introduction of a bill that would use the ACC model bill as a template for AFFF legislation. NCMA is requesting that its member companies share any concerns that you might have concerning legislation that would limit your use of AFFF to actual fire-fighting, while prohibiting your use of AFFF for testing and training purposes. Please share any ideas, suggestions, or concerns that you have with NCMA’s Preston Howard by email preston.howard@myNCMA.org or by phone <cell 919-740-8834> before 5:00 PM on Thursday, February 28.