FAA Bill Would Open Door for Airports to Act on Toxic Foams

The House passed a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill on Sept. 26, including an amendment that would exempt airports from military specifications that mandate the use of fluorine-based, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS in foams.

Used widely for decades in everything from firefighting foams to nonstick cookware, PFAS are extremely persistent, meaning they resist breaking down, even in human bodies. In recent years PFAS chemicals have tainted wells at hundreds of military bases, cities, and waterways across the country.

“For many years, we have known that perfluorinated firefighting foams are a threat to drinking water, yet the FAA’s regulations require them to be used,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), who wrote the House Amendment.

In a statement to Bloomberg Environment, Kildee said allowing airports to find alternatives to PFAS foams would help to ensure clean drinking water and better protect public health.

The measure would give 533 airports and aircraft companies the option to stop using foam containing fluorinated chemicals within two years.

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