PFAS is a national issue that needs national regulatory solutions. PFAS are manmade chemicals found in many industrial and consumer products because they increase resistance to heat, stains, water and grease. Uses include keeping food from sticking to cookware, making sofas and carpets resistant to stains, making clothes and mattresses more waterproof, and also found in some food packaging. PFAS is also found in certain foams known as aqueous film-forming foam or AFFF because it can rapidly extinguish difficult fires, saving lives and protecting property. AFFF has been used by the Utah National Guard for fighting petroleum fires, sometimes in support of local emergency responders.
AFFF has been used at the following dates and locations:
- February 22, 2019 - 1500 South I-15: 130 gallons
- January 18, 2018 - 7200 South I-15: 330 gallons
- February 22, 2017 - I-80 Parley’s Canyon: 165 gallons
- July 16, 2010 - SLCIAP General Aviation Ramp: 20 gallons
- November 2004 - I-15 Woods Cross: Amount unknown
After a comprehensive review of affected installations, three UTNG installations were been identified by the Department of Defense in a PFAS Task Force progress report:
- AASF-E.J. Garn Aviation Complex
- Sustained Airborne TNG FAC
- Wendover Airport - AVFAC
The UTNG is working with the DoD and the State of Utah to evaluate the impact to the environment.
The Utah National Guard is in the process of switching out AFFF firefighting systems and backup storage lockers to ensure only the new military Specification for AFFF (without detectable PFAS) is available for emergency firefighting responses. The policy for the use of AFFF is under development by UTNG leadership. Once the policy is developed, it will be made available to the public.
PFAS chemicals have been found in people, the environment, wildlife and fish all over the world. These chemicals do not break down easily in the environment, might affect people’s health, and are the subject of increasing regulation worldwide.
We remain committed to the health and safety of our men and women in uniform, their families, and the communities in which we serve.
More information is available at the DoD PFAS webpage: https://www.defense.gov/pfas