PFAS foam: Burn it? Or mix it with concrete?

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The state says it will cost millions to get rid of the PFAS-based firefighting foam that is being stored in fire departments across Michigan.

It's still not clear how that would happen, or when.

They could incinerate it, or even solidify it by mixing it with concrete before dumping it in hazardous waste landfills.

"It will not be a cheap solution to get rid of this AFFF foam," State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer said Thursday during a meeting of West Michigan fire chiefs.

A survey of fire departments across the state has found more than half still have the AFFF or Class B foam — a total of 32,000 gallons so far — much of it stored in 55-gallon drums or pales.

But there's still no accurate record of exactly where they've used the likely carcinogen, or how much of it has contaminated groundwater, Sehlmeyer said.

Many fire departments have never used it, he said, while others, including Grand Rapids, Wyoming and Walker, say it's been critical in putting out gas tanker fires.

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