Earlier this week, President Biden signed the Bipartisan “Preventing PFAS Runoff at Airports Act” (the “Act”) that was authored by Senator Gary Peters (MI).
The Act will enable spending from the Federal Aviation Administration (the “FAA”) to commercial airports in the US for the airports to purchase testing equipment to be used on fire fighting devices to confirm if the fire fighting equipment has been impacted or contaminated with PFAS.
The testing devices are commonly referred to as “input-based testing systems” and are designed to limit and prevent exposure to PFAS by the fire fighters using the equipment.
The Act reimburses the airport for the cost of the input based testing systems.. Under prior FAA rules that have been in place for decades, airports were required to annually test their preparedness for fires by using fire fighting foam that contained PFAS. The foam and PFAS used at these airports then naturally found its way into ground water, soil and surface water resulting, in many cases, in elevated levels of PFAS at and around our airports.
For the text of the Act – go to https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/s3662/BILLS-117s3662enr.pdf
Food For Thought – The Act provides an easy path for our airports to obtain testing equipment to evaluate if they have issues with their fire fighting equipment. All airports should be taking advantage of the Act. That said, 2023 is sure to see a continued increase in interest, focus and reporting on PFAS by legislators and towns and citizens and likely an increase in class action lawsuits by states, cities and citizens. Recent reporting by the Department of Defense has indicated that over 600,000 service men and women have been exposed to heightened levels of PFAS at various military bases in the US and many states are now enacting drinking water and other products standards regarding acceptable levels of PFAS in these products. Much going on here on the PFAS front and 2023 will, in my view, see a marked increase in activity in this arena.
Duane Morris has an active PFAS Team to help organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and execute on your PFAS issues and initiatives. We would be happy to discussion your concerns and objectives and how these new rules, regulations and rulings might apply to you. For more information or if you have any questions about this post, please contact Lindsay Brown, Brad A. Molotsky, Alyson Walker Lotman, Alice Shanahan, Seth Cooley, Sharon Caffrey or the attorney in the firm with whom you in regular contact or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.