The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) announced the collection of more than 30,000 gallons of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) firefighting foam from Indiana fire departments. Since April 2022, this free program, provided by IDEM, Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), and Indiana Finance Authority (IFA), has collected and safely disposed of foam from more than 220 Hoosier fire departments across the state.
“When we first began collection, we set a lofty goal to collect 30,000 gallons of PFAS foam,” said IDEM Commissioner Brian Rockensuess. “We have exceeded that goal in less than a year’s time and are still scheduling more pick-ups. This is a major accomplishment in protecting the environment and the health of our bravest Hoosiers.”
PFAS foam is used to suppress or extinguish Class-B (toxic chemical) fires. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. PFAS foam has been linked to four of the top eight leading causes of cancer in firefighters: testicular, prostate, mesothelioma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In 2020, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1189, prohibiting the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS for training purposes.
Indiana is one of only a handful of states in the country to create a PFAS foam collection and disposal program. This program allows the state to offer a free pick-up and environmentally safe disposal service, which saves fire departments thousands of dollars in disposal costs while protecting Hoosiers and the Indiana environment.
Fire departments across the state can voluntarily register for this free program by visiting the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) website at dhs.IN.gov. Real time collection data can be viewed via the PFAS Collection Status Map on the IDHS website.