Read the full article by Record Staff (Troy Record)
“ALBANY, N.Y. — Sen. Neil Breslin and Assemblyman John McDonald III have introduced legislation to prohibit the incineration of firefighting foam containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Despite the fact that the safety of incineration as a method to dispose of PFAS firefighting foam is still being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) entered into a contract with the Norlite facility in Cohoes, to incinerate PFAS firefighting foam without appropriate environmental review and was previously incinerating PFAS foam at the facility.
‘Given what we do know about the hazards of PFAS chemicals, and the lack of solid science on the impact of burning firefighting foam AFFF containing these so-called ‘forever chemicals,’ it makes no sense to allow these hazardous materials to be incinerated, particularly with 70 families living in public housing in the shadows of the Norlite facility. On behalf of the people of Cohoes, I applaud Senator Breslin, Assemblyman McDonald, and all who are supporting this moratorium on the incineration of firefighting foam AFFF. Our utmost concern must be for the immediate and long-term health and safety of the people of Cohoes and the surrounding area potentially affected,’ Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler said in a news release.
‘The recent revelation of incineration of fire-retardant foam containing PFAS at the Norlite facility located in Cohoes is extremely disturbing. Given the numerous instances, both nationally and within New York State, of PFAS and its related chemicals contaminating the environment, it seems obvious that legislative efforts such as this should be undertaken as quickly as possible to prevent further risk to the public. Until definitive scientific evidence shows such practices are safe and effective, all processing of PFAS foam in this way should be prohibited,’ Albany County Executive Dan McCoy added.
The legislation would implement a ban on incinerating firefighting foam that contains PFAS chemicals to ensure that the safety of the incineration method is verified and avoid any risk to health and safety.
‘Too often we have to intervene after the fact when environmental protection and safety issues arise, and this legislation is an effort to be proactive in avoiding any potential threats to our communities and residents. We must have assurances that this method of disposal is safe and will not result in any public health risk to the Capital Region before any further incineration proceeds. I appreciate the swift action undertaken by all of our federal, state, and local partners along with the strong advocacy of our environmental partners on this issue,’ McDonald said…”