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State begins collection of PFAS-laced firefighting foam

Posted at 10:15 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 10:01:27-05

LANSING, Mich. — The State of Michigan has officially begun disposing firefighting foam that contains PFAS, a harmful chemical known to cause cancer.

The Lansing Fire Department became the first department to empty their hands of the specific type of foam containing PFAS. In total, the state will collect more than 30,000 gallons of it.

The foam was widely in use previously because it has been used to battle fires of high temperature or to cool a fire by limiting its contact with oxygen.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy awarded US Ecology of Livonia the bid for the $1.4 million dollar project. The private company will collect the foam over the course of the next 7 months. Once it is collected, it will be then be taken to a licensed hazardous waste facility in Belleville, Michigan.

"It’s another positive step, as long as they can replace it with something as effective or as good, maybe better," said Scott Harvey, who was formerly the clerk of Plainfield Township who has been an advocate throughout the PFAS epidemic.

Nearly 330 fire departments still have this foam on their shelves.