Firefighting Foam Spill into Farmington River

June 24, 2019

Last week I joined my legislative colleagues to bring attention to the incident that happened earlier this month where an estimated 50,000 gallons of water and PFAS foam stored at the private Signature Flight hangar at Bradley Airport leaked into the Farmington River.

PFAS is used in firefighting foam by civilian and military fire departments across the nation. According to a recent review from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease are some of the effects to PFAS exposure.

About 19,000 gallons of the mixture was recovered at the hangar, the sewer system, the Metropolitan District treatment plant and from the surface of the river. But we hope to test the river water, sediments, and aquatic life for levels of PFAS.

Right now, a letter has been submitted to the FAA asking them to remove the requirement that this foam be used and asked to identify a better alternative. In addition, we have requested for more information on the cost of disposal and replacement of this chemical for municipal fire stations.

I am working with key stakeholders such as DEEP to ensure we not only get this mess cleaned up, but also implement preventive measures to keep our water safe.

Please note that water or fish should not be consumed from the river at this time. To learn more, click here.