State begins collecting PFAS-laced firefighting foam

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — State environmental officials announced Thursday they have started collecting PFAS-laced firefighting foam from fire departments and airports across the state.

It’s all part of Michigan’s $1.4 million pick up and disposal plan.

Under a contract with the state, a Detroit-area company began collecting the first of 35,000 gallons of the foam.

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It will then be shipped off to a facility in Idaho, where it will be solidified and placed in a landfill, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

So far, more than 1,200 gallons have been collected from the Lansing Fire Department, Lansing Township Fire Department and Capital Region International Airport.

PFAS, a likely carcinogen, is a group potentially harmful contaminants used in thousands of products, including firefighting foam.

“Michigan remains a leader in removing sources of PFAS contamination from our water,” said Michigan PFAS Action Response Team Executive Director Steve Sliver in a news release. “We believe this is the largest collection and disposal effort yet among the handful of states that are taking action to prevent future contamination from Class B AFFF. This product has been responsible for contaminating drinking water around hundreds of military bases and commercial airports across the country.  Michigan calls on the EPA, Department of Defense and FAA to take more action on this growing environmental and public health threat.”