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Legislature votes to ban burning of PFAS-filled firefighting foam in Cohoes

Jun 11, 2020 1:30 pm
Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union state lawmakers this week unanimously approved a measure that, if signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, would ban the incineration of PFAS-filled firefighting foam in the city of Cohoes. Explaining how the measure made it through the Legislature during a session dominated by debate over police reforms, bill co-sponsor Assemblymember John McDonald of Cohoes said, “We wanted to strike while the iron was hot." The ban was co-sponsored by Sen. Neil Breslin of Delmar. McDonald and Breslin are both Democrats. The burning of aqueous film forming foam at the Norlite aggregate plant in Cohoes has become a major environmental issue in the Capital Region. In February, city officials learned that Norlite had been incinerating the unused foam collected from other locations. The company also has a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to accept the foam for disposal. The city this spring passed an incineration moratorium so Norlite is not currently burning the foam. The bill to ban incineration was limited to cities in New York with a population between 16,000 and 17,000, which includes Cohoes. The Cohoes facility is the only one statewide that currently incinerates AFFF. Read the full story in the Times Union.