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Georgia Enacts Prohibition on PFAS Firefighting Foam

In the final hours of the 2019 Georgia legislative session, the House agreed to the Senate’s revision to the firefighting foam regulation bill, House Bill 458, with an almost unanimous vote of 159 to 1.

The final version of this legislation goes beyond the original HB 458 by prohibiting prospectively (on and after January 1, 2020) the discharge or other use of firefighting foam that contains PFAS chemicals. The law is still focused on “Class B” firefighting foam used to extinguish flammable liquid fires (like at airports, refineries, etc.), and defines “PFAS chemicals” to include those fluorinated organic chemicals that contain at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.

However, the fire code amendments now prohibit any fire department or other state or local entity from discharging or otherwise using Class B firefighting foam that contains PFAS chemicals, with two exceptions:

  1. Use of such firefighting foams in response to an emergency fire occurrence.

  2. For training or testing purposes at an engineered facility built to contain releases into the environment. The original proposed bill was focused solely on training exercises utilizing firefighting foam with PFAS chemicals.

The legislation is now expected to be signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp.



About this Author

Charles Denton Environmental Attorney

Charlie Denton represents an array of clients in environmental and toxic tort litigation, enforcement defense, regulatory compliance solutions and pollution insurance coverage disputes. He also serves as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) neutral mediator and arbitrator. Persistent and highly collaborative, Charlie can take complicated issues and challenges and then identify a strategic path to achieve the client’s objectives.

Charlie’s representation of industrial, municipal, institutional, educational and individual clients includes judicial and administrative environmental...