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ROCA Buys Equipment To Process Fire Fighting Foam

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Pixabay.com Tiluria
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The Federal Aviation Administration continues to require local airports to test their fire figthing capabilities using firefighting foam that contains 'forever chemicals, or PFAS.

The Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport(ROCA) has acquired a system that will contain the foam before it hits the environment as Airport Director Matthew Leitner explains...

"We just secured a mobile testing cart for our fire truck and what this does is test the foam in our fire truck for the proper concentration without discharging foam. So basically this hooks up to the truck, the foam goes in, it tests quite a bit of it, to make sure that the concentration is uniform for that test amount. It then returns it to the truck..."

Leitner says in the past they would discharge a little bit of the foam into a bucket at low pressure and then return that foam to a tank for recycling....

"We only discharge foam in the event of an emergency. Before, again, we weren't discharging it except into a bucket at low pressure in a small amount and then returning it to a container for recycling and proper disposal..."

Leitner says officials are looking at an alternative type of fire fighting foam that doesn't have PFAS in it. A grant helped pay for the cost of the cart on an 80-20 match says Leitner. PFAS became an issue at the airport when two nearby City of Rhinelander water wells were shut down because the water exceeded federal guidelines for PFAS. Where the PFAS came from is still under investigation.

One group estimated more than 100 million American's drinking water has been exposed to the chemicals, which were common in such surfaces as Teflon and stain-resistant clothing. The chemicals don't break down in the environment.