DNR asks fire departments statewide to report use of firefighting foam containing PFAS

Madison Fire Department switches to PFAS-free firefighting foam

MADISON, Wis. — The Department of Natural Resources is asking fire departments around the state to report their use of any firefighting foam that contains perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances.

A news release said the University of Wisconsin-Madison Survey Center is conducting a statewide survey on behalf of the DNR to locate the usage of PFAS in firefighting foams.

The survey began on Jan. 13 and will end March 17, with results expected in early April.

“All PFAS-containing foams have the potential to create an adverse environmental impact if released into the environment, particularly if the foam solutions reach drinking water sources, groundwater or surface waters,” said Secretary-designee Preston D. Cole. “Knowing where this foam is will help us ensure that the environment is protected from its damaging effects.”

The survey coincides with Gov. Tony Evers’ recent signing of a Republican bill that prohibits the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS.

PFAS can still be used for emergency fire situations and testing purposes.

The bill also requires that the DNR be notified whenever foam containing PFAS is used.

The survey will help with collection and disposal efforts throughout Wisconsin.

“Working together we can ensure that alternative foams are both highly effective for fire suppression and much safer for the environment, which then protects the health of firefighters and the communities they serve,” Cole said.