Fire Station Workgroup

an icon of the outline of a firetruck

Mission:

Firefighter discharging firefighting foam

To serve as a liaison between the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), and to educate and inform the Michigan fire service on proper training protocols and coordinate the removal of Class B Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) containing PFAS.

This workgroup is led by LARA and includes staff from EGLE and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  The original mission of this workgroup was to identify fire departments that use and store Class B AFFF, which is known to contain PFAS.  Early on, this workgroup identified several needs: 1) best practices for when foam should be used; 2) a requirement that all fire fighters who use Class B AFFF report it to a central location; and
3) ongoing education about PFAS in AFFF.  As a result, a poster, reporting process and Firefighting Foam page were developed.

Recent Accomplishments:

  • The Fire Station Workgroup coordinated efforts to collect over 40,000 gallons of Class B AFFF firefighting foam as reported by fire departments statewide.  As of September 21, 2020, over 51,000 gallons were collected for proper disposal.
  • In 2019, the Fire Station Workgroup began reaching out to organizations outside the Michigan fire service--groups such as emergency management, law enforcement, and 911 dispatch associations--to determine options fire departments have to replace their 8-chain Class B AFFF.  Our goal is to get the makers of foam to assure Michigan fire chiefs that their replacement Class B AFFF is PFOS/PFOA-free and help the fire service make a transition to a Class B AFFF that is both effective in suppressing class B fires and has no negative effect on the environment.

Next Steps:

  • The Fire Station Workgroup will continue to provide guidance and information to the fire service on how to select a replacement fluorine-free Class B AFFF.

Research/Studies:

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is currently testing Class B AFFF that are fluorine-free foams.  The results will be released in 2021.

Timeline of Accomplishments:

  • Spring of 2019:  A statewide survey was conducted of 780 fire departments to determine the inventory of Class B AFFF.
  • June 2019:  The workgroup began disseminating a poster for every fire station in Michigan on the proper way to report the use of Class B AFFF and for reporting the use of Class B AFFF to the EGLE Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS), 1-800-292-4706.
  • December 2019:  AFFF pick-up and disposal program started.
  • September 2020: AFFF pick-up program ended.

Workgroup Lead Name and Email:

Kevin Sehlmeyer, State Fire Marshal
SehlmeyerK@Michigan.gov

Updated September 30, 2020