PFAS and Emerging Contaminants
PFAS-Based Firefighting Foams
Synthetic firefighting foam has been widely used since the 1960s. Today, it may be the largest single source of PFAS in our environment. Find out more about the risks faced by airports, military bases and local fire departments who regularly spray aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) during training exercises and emergency response.
Decades worth of PFAS chemicals like PFOA and PFOS linger in our environment as a legacy of spraying aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) solutions without treating the runoff. Health concerns have influenced regulatory agencies to initiate testing of both surface water and groundwater near many airports with reported releases or contaminated drinking water.
Airport, Military Base and Fire Department PFAS Risks
As more data emerge about PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam, regulations are increasing throughout the country. Military and commercial aviation that routinely trained with and used AFFF could face potential historical liabilities.
Airports and other facilities are advised to develop proactive response strategies that may include:
- Taking inventory of current and historical locations of AFFF emergency responses, fire training areas, and storage sites and determining how close they are to environmental receptors
- Reviewing records of historical AFFF use, storage, and maintenance practices
- Reviewing plans for managing environmental health and safety risks, such as stormwater pollution and hazmat spills
- Updating Facility Response Plan (FRP), Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), and Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCCC) procedures
- Developing goal-oriented sampling plans of surface water, stormwater, and groundwater, as appropriate
Nationwide Expertise in PFAS Research and Regulations
TRC’s Center of Research and Expertise (CORE) is a national leader on PFAS toxicity, fate and transport, sampling, testing, and remediation methods. We can assure that characterization programs are done properly and effective treatment, containment, and disposal plans are in place to control potential impacts.
Our staff includes PFAS forensics experts who have clearly differentiated sources at several airports where multiple AFFF releases are documented or identified. Our PFAS specialists understand the complex sampling and analysis procedures used to interpret the data, characterize PFAS sources, and develop sustainable remediation strategies.
TRC’s overall goal is to help clients manage their risks at a time of regulatory uncertainty. With staff located throughout the country, we bring both a national and local perspective to the issue and how developing legislation will impact the future.
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