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General Assembly Passes Bi-Partisan Firefighting Foam Management Act

While the General Assembly tackled a number of issues at our Reconvened Session on April 3rd, I was pleased to see final passage of my bill to reduce the introduction of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals into the environment.  According to the US EPA, these chemicals "are very persistent in the environment and human body -- meaning they don't break down and can accumulate over time.  There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects."  These chemicals are now the subject of an EPA action plan.  PFAS are found in a number of products, including cookware, food containers, and stain repellants.  They are also a main component of certain firefighting foams.  In fact, over-use during firefighting exercises at Wallops Island recently contaminated the drinking water supply of nearby Chincoteague. HB2762 phases out the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foams for training purposes by the year 2021.  This bill is the first of its type in the nation and was a collaborative effort with both industry and environmental groups.  See here for a press release from the Virginia Manufacturing Assocation.