State Rep. Jeff Yaroch’s plan to protect firefighters and communities from the risks associated with firefighting foam containing PFAS has been signed into state law.
Yaroch’s new law bans the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS for training exercises and requires that all Michigan firefighters be trained on the risks of foam containing PFAS.
Firefighting foam containing PFAS was used for years by fire departments to suppress petroleum-based fires, Yaroch said. Perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (commonly known as PFAS) are part of a group of forever chemicals that persist in the environment. While manufacturers voluntarily stopped making foam containing PFAS in 2002 in exchange for a safer alternative, many departments still had the older foam on hand. Yaroch worked with other legislators to make a plan that included training, better reporting, and disposal of foam containing PFAS. The state, over the past year, collected over 30,000 gallons of foam containing PFAS from fire departments to be properly disposed of.
“As a former firefighter, I am pleased that my bills to protect firefighters, people, and the environment is now state law,” Yaroch said. “For years, it was thought that PFAS in firefighting foam did not pose a great risk. We now know it has health risks, so it’s important state law reflects this new data and we take every step to keep our firefighters, our citizens, and our water safe.”
After the Michigan Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the Governor’s COVID-19 executive orders were unconstitutional, Rep. Jeff Yaroch and the State House acted swiftly to protect unemployed workers, nursing home residents and Macomb County families.