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“RALEIGH — Legislation to tighten requirements on the use of firefighting foam with per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, including a statewide ban on its use in training, passed the North Carolina House last week in a 112-0 vote.

House Bill 355 represents the first legislated restrictions on the use of PFAS in the state. It follows similar attempts in prior sessions to limit the use of aqueous film-forming foams, or AFFF, containing PFAS.

Two years ago, the North Carolina General Assembly declined to take up the foam ban, but did approve the development of a statewide registry led by researchers at the University of North Carolina Policy Collaboratory.

The new bill strengthens the reporting requirements for local governments and other agencies that use the foam. The registry would track the inventory of AFFF, identify all foam not in use that needs to be disposed of and log all incidents in which it is used. It gives the state fire marshal authority to adopt rules for compliance and sets a deadline of July 1, 2022, for all fire departments to file their first annual report.

During a hearing last week, Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, said the bill was an important step in tracking the use of PFAS, reducing firefighters’ exposure to PFAS, and limiting its release into the environment. He said there are enough foams that don’t contain PFAS now on the market to provide a safer alternative.

‘We’re trying to get a grip on this AFF foam, so that we can inventory it, manage it and make sure that if it’s going to be used, it’s going to be used in a responsible manner,’ he said…”