Read the full article by Katie Lannan (State House News Service)

“Fire departments across Massachusetts face a ‘daunting’ task in replacing the foams they use to fight fires caused by fuels or other flammable liquids, one chief told a task force mulling ways the state can address contamination by a class of chemicals known as PFAS.

Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of long-lasting, man-made chemicals used for decades in consumer products like non-stick coating and in certain firefighting foams.

Last year’s state budget created the PFAS Interagency Task Force, led by House Speaker Pro Tempore Kate Hogan and Sen. Julian Cyr, to study PFAS contamination, exposure pathways and mitigation strategies. Its recommendations to the Legislature are due by Dec. 31.

Probing issues around where PFAS contamination in Massachusetts comes from and who should bear responsibility for cleaning it up, the panel heard Tuesday from state Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey and fire chiefs Peter Burke of Hyannis and John Dearborn of Longmeadow.

Ostroskey said that as more information continues to emerge about PFAS chemicals, the Department of Fire Services has been trying to apply that information ‘as quickly as possible.’

The department teamed up with state environmental officials on a takeback program to collect and remove old firefighting foam containing PFAS, he said, and plans a Sept. 13 seminar for fire departments about replacing a type of foam known as AFFF.”…