The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced this week its launch of a “take-back and replace” pilot program to assist select fire departments by removing, disposing of, and replacing firefighting foam containing PFAS at no cost.
This program involves:
- Conducting a statewide survey of fire departments to determine whether they have aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) in their inventory and whether their department is subject to federal regulations (e.g., Military Specification or Federal Aviation Administration);
- Using survey results to determine the departments’ eligibility and inviting departments to participate;
- Coordinating with participating departments to collect, transport, and safely dispose of AFFF at an approved facility; and
- Purchasing and providing PFAS-free replacement foam free of charge.
The program was initiated earlier this year and established with an FY 2023 budget of nearly $400,000. Initial survey results indicate inventories of a total of 5,000 gallons of AFFF containing PFAS, nearly 3,000 of which were located in 24 municipal fire departments eligible for the program. ADEQ plans to confirm the departments’ participation by the end of 2022 and complete the take-back and replace program by the end of June 2023.