AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash.—Washington state could become the first state in the nation to ban the nonstick PFAS chemicals used in firefighting foam that contaminated water in Airway Heights.
Last year, the city went without drinkable tap water for more than 20 days after officials said there were high levels of two different contaminants in the water and urged residents not to drink it.
PFAS-containing firefighting foam also contaminated the drinking water of millions of Americans across the country, including in the Washington communities of Coupeville, Issaquah. These communities face high costs for remediation and cleanup, according to a press release.
Officials at Fairchild Air Force Base said they had already discontinued using the chemicals at the end of 2016.
Tuesday night the Washington State House of Representatives voted 72-26 to ban the sale of firefighting foam. The legislation now goes back to the Senate for a final vote and then Governor Jay Inslee has 20 days to sign it. If the bill becomes law, Washington would be the first state to restrict those chemicals in firefighting foams.