On September 10th, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released survey results for Wisconsin firefighters’ use of firefighting foams contains perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances. The survey found:
- 77% of respondents previously had purchased, stored, trained with, or used fluorinated foam
- The majority used fluorinated foam for emergency fires involving flammable liquids or gas.
- There is currently between 63,200 and 96,300 gallons of fluorinated firefighting foam in storage across the state
- In excess of 30,000 gallons of expired or unwanted foam currently requires disposal
The Wisconsin legislature passed 2019 Wis. Act 101 last year, restricting the use of fire fighting foam containing PFAS to emergency situations and testing facilities and empowering DNR to promulgate an emergency rule “determine appropriate containment, treatment, and disposal or storage measures for testing facilities.” However, DNR’s policy board tabled the first emergency rule after receiving push back from industry leaders and the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules.