Senate Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Legislation Led by Senator Lummis to Reduce the Spread of Toxic PFAS at Commercial Airports

September 12, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The bipartisan Preventing PFAS Runoff at Airports Act authored by U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) was unanimously passed in the Senate. The Preventing PFAS Runoff at Airports Actwould allow commercial airports to leverage additional existing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding to purchase devices necessary to test their firefighting equipment without discharging toxic polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS chemicals. This legislation would incentivize commercial airports to purchase the relatively low-cost devices – also referred to as an input-based testing system – to help limit and prevent exposure to PFAS, which are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down.

“PFAS contaminations around airports is a serious problem with a very easy solution. With simple testing solutions that are already funded under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, we can protect the environment without creating more burdensome regulations on small airports around Wyoming,” said Senator Lummis. “I am thrilled this important legislation passed the Senate, and I hope the House will pass it quickly.”

The FAA has required commercial airports nationwide to use firefighting foam that contains toxic PFAS chemicals. For years airports were required to discharge this foam as part of routine, federally-mandated testing of their firefighting equipment. This puts firefighters, the environment and the public at risk from exposure to toxic PFAS chemicals. The Preventing PFAS Runoff at Airports Act would make more funding from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program available to commercial airports to purchase devices that avoid discharging PFAS chemicals when testing firefighting equipment. Currently, seven Wyoming airports are eligible for this PFAS remediation funding.

To read the bill, click here.