NY Association of Counties praises Cuomo for banning toxic firefighting foam

Posted 24 November 2020 at 8:34 am

Press Release, New York Association of Counties

The New York State Association of Counties applauds Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing legislation (S.7880-B Breslin/A.9952-B McDonald) to end the incineration of firefighting foam that contains toxic PFAS chemicals.

Since the 1970s, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) have been used in firefighting foams because of their ability to produce a fast-spreading foam. However, we now know that these “forever chemicals” accumulate in our bodies and the environment and have been linked to serious health effects, including birth defects, delayed development, liver and immune system damage, and cancer.

Ending the incineration of PFAS is the right thing to do to prevent these dangerous chemicals from being released into our air and water and threatening the health of neighboring communities. We commend the Governor for continuing his strong environmental legacy by signing this legislation into law and making New York the first state in the nation to prohibit the burning of firefighting foam containing PFAS.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued this statement about the ban:

“While the federal government has failed to regulate these compounds or protect the health of our communities, New York continues to respond to the threats posed by emerging contaminants like PFAS in our environment with sustained science-based actions,” Cuomo said. “While this measure will ban incineration of firefighting foam containing these compounds in cities like Cohoes, our work is not over. We remain fully committed to this effort and will continue to advance comprehensive, statewide measures which protect all New Yorkers and our environment from emerging contaminants.”