Toxics in firefighting law
In 2018, Washington passed the Firefighting Agents and Equipment law (Chapter 70A.400 RCW).
This law does the following:
- Restricts the manufacture, sale, and use for training of AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam), a firefighting agent that contains PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).
- Requires manufacturers of firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE) to notify buyers if their products contain PFAS.
In relation to this law, we are developing an AFFF collection and disposal program to help local fire departments and first responders collect and safely dispose of unused AFFF they have on-site.
What does the law include?
Class B firefighting foam (otherwise known as AFFF) can no longer be:
- Manufactured or sold. Exemptions include: The military, petroleum refineries and terminals, certain chemical plants, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified airports, except Part 139-certified airports (see next section for details).
- Used for fire training. No exemptions.
Part 139-certified airports must procure approved non-PFAS firefighting agents
Airports in Washington that are federally-certified part 139 must:
- Procure Department of Defense (DOD) approved non-PFAS firefighting agents and report their progress in doing so to us by March 31, 2025.
PFAS-containing firefighting PPE requires written notice
PFAS-containing firefighting PPE can still be manufactured and sold, but manufacturers and sellers must provide a written notice to buyers that their products contain PFAS.
Develop preferred purchasing guidelines
The law also directs us to work with the Department of Enterprise Services to develop preferred purchasing guidance to help other public sector partners avoid purchasing AFFF and PFAS-containing PPE.