Click HERE for a FAQ sheet issued by OSFM and IEPA with the support of the IFCA.
Illinois PFAS Legislation
On August 6th, 2021 Governor Pritzker signed Public Act 102-0290 in an attempt to reduce the impact of firefighting foam containing PFAS on the environment. Please note that “nothing in this Act shall prevent or discourage a fire department from responding to and mitigating incidents where a fire, spill, or leak of a known or suspected flammable liquid has occurred or is believed to be imminent.”
Here is a quick overview of the new law:
Beginning January 1, 2022:
Fire Departments must notify the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) at 1-800-782-7860 within 48 hours of AFFF containing PFAS discharge or release, including use at an emergency incident. The notification must include:
- The time, date, location, and estimated amount of Class B firefighting foam discharged;
- The purpose or reason of the discharge;
- The containment, treatment, and disposal measures used to prevent or minimize the discharge or release of the Class B firefighting foam into the environment; and
- The name of the person, unit of local government, fire department, or State agency, the local incident number, and the Fire Department Identification (FDID) number, if applicable.
AFFF may not be used for training or testing purposes unless the fire authority has performed all of the following:
- Evaluated the testing facility for containment, treatment, and disposal measures to prevent uncontrolled release of Class B firefighting foam to the environment;
- Notified IEMA of the AFFF discharge or release within 48 hours; and
- Provided training to employees of the possible hazards, protective actions, and a disposal plan.
Flushing, draining, or otherwise discharging the foam into a storm drain or sanitary sewer is not an appropriate containment, treatment, and disposal or storage measure.
Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS must be properly disposed of within 90 days of the expiration date provided by the manufacturer.
Manufacturers, including distributors, must notify fire departments prior to the fire department’s purchase of Class B foam containing PFAS clearly indicating that:
- The product contains PFAS that may be hazardous to health or the environment;
- The use of the product is regulated and restricted under this Act; and
- Other Class B firefighting foam options may be available for purchase.
On or before January 1st of each of the next five years, OSFM must conduct a survey of fire departments to determine:
- Each fire department's name, Fire Department Identification (FDID) number, if applicable, and address;
- The amount, type, and date of manufacture and the expiration date of any Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS that each fire department possesses;
- How, where, and when each fire department has used Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS within the previous 12 months, the NFIRS incident number, and, if reported to IEMA, the report number provided by IEMA; and
- How much, if any, Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS the fire department has disposed of, and the method of disposal, during the reporting period.
Note: The information below was posted prior to the Governor signing SB561 into law.
The Illinois Legislature is currently considering legislation that would place restrictions on firefighting foam containing PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These are considered “forever chemicals” that effectively remain in the ground (including water supplies) without degrading. PFAS are also present in many other materials acting as a water repellant.
Below is a quick review of Senate Bill 561. Here is a link to the Bill. Keep in mind that this bill has not passed the General Assembly or been signed by the Governor as of this date.
This Bill regulates only Class B foam that contains intentionally added PFAS. The most important thing is this Bill is “nothing in this Act shall prevent or discourage a fire department from responding to and mitigating incidents where a fire, spill, or leak of a known or suspected flammable liquid has occurred or is believed to be imminent.”
Training with foam containing PFAS is generally not allowed (with a few exceptions) after January 1, 2022. Testing is allowed if certain conditions – including containment, notification and training requirements – are met.
The sale of foam containing PFAS is not allowed after January 1, 2025. This restriction does not apply to facilities controlled by federal regulations. After January 1, 2022, a seller of foam containing PFAS to a fire department or district must notify the purchaser that the foam contains PFAS prior to the purchase and certain information about the foam.
After January 1, 2022, any fire department or district using firefighting foam containing PFAS must notify the EPA of the use and provide certain information. Beginning in 2022, the State Fire Marshal will be conducting a survey of fire departments regarding firefighting foam and require certain information. OSFM will continue this survey annually.
Proper disposal of Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS shall not include flushing, draining, or otherwise discharging the Class B firefighting foam into a ditch, waterway, storm drain, or sanitary sewer. Class B firefighting foam must be properly disposed of within 90 days of the expiration date provided by the manufacturer.
Please remember that this legislation is currently still under consideration and has not been passed by the legislature nor signed by the Governor. There is a possibility that the details of this legislation may change. We will attempt to update this information with any changes.