Connecticut Passes Ban on PFAS in Firefighting Foam and Food Packaging Containers

At a Glance

On July 20th, 2021, Connecticut Ned Governor Lamont signed Public Act 21-191 into law banning the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Class B firefighting foams and phasing out PFAS-containing food packing.  This law is consistent with the PFAS Action Plan developed by the Connecticut Interagency PFAS Task Force in 2019.

The new law defines PFAS as all members of the class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom, and specifies that:

  1. Effectively immediately, fire-fighting foam containing PFAS is not permitted for vapor suppression or to be used in any firefighting training or testing activities.
  2. Effective Oct. 1, 2021, all firefighting foams within the state must be PFAS-free. 
  3. Exceptions to the October 1, 2021, deadline include:
    • After October 1, 2021, airport facilities with fire suppression systems using class B firefighting foams that contain PFAS must provide mitigation measures to prevent the release of foam into the environment, including an implementation plan and physical features that are designed to prevent such a release, even when the foam is deployed in its intended manner.  No later than October 1, 2023, firefighting foam systems containing PFAS shall be removed or repurposed.  
    • Operators of chemical plants, oil refineries, or terminal, storage, or distribution facilities for flammable liquids may request an extension of time for compliance with the October 1, 2021, deadline from the Commissioner of the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP.)  
  4. Not later than October 1, 2021, the DEEP Commissioner must develop a take-back program for municipal-owned Class B firefighting foams containing PFAS.  
  5. As soon as feasible, but not later than December 31, 2023, no food packaging to which PFAS has been intentionally introduced during manufacturing or distribution shall be offered for sale or used in promotional purposes.  
  6. No materials used to replace PFAS (or any other chemical currently used in food packaging) may be used in a quantity or manner that creates a hazard as great as, or greater than, the hazard of the chemical being regulated.  

The full text of the law is available on the Connecticut General Assembly website.

If you have questions concerning the impact of the law or managing PFAS products, contact Richard Desrosiers, PG, LP.

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