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DEC imposes new restrictions on Norlite's burning of firefighting foam

Jun 19, 2020 1:15 pm
Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union the state Department of Environmental Conservation has imposed new restrictions on the burning of toxic firefighting foam by the Norlite company in Cohoes. The DEC also noted a contract between Norlite’s parent company and the Department of Defense to incinerate the foam is no longer in place. News of the DEC’s new requirements were welcomed by Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler. Norlite officials have been directed "to continue to not conduct any further treatment or disposal" of the foam containing PFAS. The letter advised Norlite it must pursue a modification of the current incineration permit to start burning the foam AFFF again. The state Legislature last week banned AFFF incineration in Cohoes, and weeks after the city imposed a one-year moratorium. The legislative ban still needs Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature to become law. Keeler urged Cuomo to sign the ban law, which was sponsored by Democratic representatives, Sen. Neil Breslin and Assemblymember John McDonald. AFFF is a substance that fire departments have long used as a fire suppressant, but it is generally being phased out. The foam has seeped into water supplies in some locations including Cairo and Newburgh. PFAS is associated with illnesses such as thyroid disorders, cancer and other ailments. Norlite, a producer of material for road building and construction, burns waste in kilns for a fee, bringing in revenue and allowing the company to avoid buying fuel to power their kilns. Read the full story in the Times Union.