ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for the implementation of a law that would allow airports to stop using toxic chemicals that are said to poison local waterways.
PFAs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are found in firefighting foams used at airports across New York, and she says those chemicals can seep into groundwater and possibly contaminate drinking water.
Prior to FAA authorization changes this year, commercial airports were required to use PFAs in these foams, legislation Gillibrand fought to pass that eliminated this requirement.
“Our airports need to be able to prevent fires. And they should always have access to the best tools to get the job done. But we also have a responsibility to make sure they’re not inadvertently poisoning the water in our communities.”
Although the law passed two months ago, Gillibrand says the FAA has yet to implement the new regulations.
“One of the biggest reasons why this particular chemical keeps leaking into our water is because it’s one of the main ingredients in the firefighting foam that our airports have been required to use for putting out fires and for their fire safety training exercises.”
Gillibrand is calling on the federal government to start implementing changes to stop the contamination.