Reducing and Preventing Releases of PFAS-Containing Firefighting Foam

Minimizing Future Release of PFAS to the Environment

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)
Agency Presentations
Public Act 21-191: An Act Concerning the Use of PFAS in Class B Firefighting Foam
PFAS-Containing Firefighting Foam Use Ban
Fluorine-Free Foam (F3) Acquisition
AFFF Take-Back Program
Phase 1: AFFF Concentrate Collection (2021-2022) Phase 2: Trailer Decontamination Pilot and Replacement (2021-2022)
Phase 3: Municipal Apparatus Decontamination and Reimbursement Program (2023-2024)

Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)

Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) is a type of widely used firefighting foam used to extinguish Class B flammable liquid and petroleum fires. All AFFF contains intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as an active ingredient. Other types of Class B firefighting foam that also contain intentionally added PFAS are alcohol resistant AFFF (AR-AFFF), film-forming fluoroprotein foam (FFFP), alcohol-resistant fluoroprotein foam (AR-FFFP), fluoroprotein foam (FP), and alcohol resistant fluoroprotein foam (FPAR).

A key recommended action of the Connecticut PFAS Action Plan is to minimize future releases of PFAS to the environment by reducing or preventing future releases of PFAS-containing firefighting foam, including all AFFF. Specific recommendations of the plan include passing legislation to limit the future use of such foams, developing a take-back program for State agencies and municipal fire departments that currently possess PFAS-containing foams, the procurement of PFAS-free foam alternatives, and developing and implementing best management practices for handling PFAS-containing firefighting foams. DEEP has made significant progress towards implementing each of these recommendations. 

Agency Presentations

Public Act 21-191: An Act Concerning the Use of PFAS in Class B Firefighting Foam

One of the key pollution prevention recommendations in the State’s PFAS Action Plan was to discontinue use of AFFF where possible. During the 2021 legislative session, An Act Concerning the Use of Perfluoroalkyl or Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Class B Firefighting Foam (CGS 22a-903a) was passed. The law: Inforgraphic regarding firefighting foam deadlines for usage and PFAS-free alternative.
  • Banned training with firefighting foam containing intentionally added PFAS (e.g., AFFF) upon passage (July 13, 2021), and banned most other uses of AFFF by October 1, 2021; 
  • Required that DEEP identify alternative fluorine-free firefighting foam (F3) that can be safely used by State agencies; and
  • Authorized a municipal AFFF "take back" program.

PFAS-Containing Firefighting Foam Use Ban

To learn more visit the PFAS-Containing Firefighting Foam Ban webpage

Fluorine-Free Foam (F3) Acquisition

Fluorine-free foam (or "F3") can be used as a replacement for AFFF in many circumstances. Municipalities may purchase replacement fluorine-free foam from any vendor.  In general, foams that have been certified by GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals are acceptable for use in Connecticut. 

The Commissioner of DEEP selected National Foam Universal F3 Green as a fluorine-free foam suitable for use by State agencies. (Other acceptable fluorine-free foams may be identified by DEEP in the future.)  Municipal fire departments may therefore choose to purchase replacement foam through the state contract (#21PSX0028AB) issued by the Department of Administrative Services for National Foam Universal F3 Green firefighting foam.

AFFF Take-Back Program

AFFF containersDEEP and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection’s Commission on Fire Prevention and Control (DESPP-CFPC) are implementing the take-back and safe disposal of aqueous film-forming foam containing PFAS from State and municipal fire departments. The Take-Back Program consists of three phases described below.  

Phase 1: AFFF Concentrate Collection Program (2021-2022)

Phase 1 of the Take-Back Program included the collection of containers of AFFF concentrate from municipal fire departments around the state. Between April 2021 and March 2022, more than 35,300 gallons of AFFF concentrate were collected from over 250 fire departments and safely disposed.

Phase 2: Regional Trailer Decontamination Pilot and Replacement Purchases (2022-2023)

Phase 2 of the Take-Back Program evaluated decontamination methods for the State’s eight regional foam trailers from 2021 to 2022 and recommended a course of action for addressing the trailers that were not included in the pilot program. DEEP retained two contractors using two different proprietary cleaning agents to demonstrate the effectiveness of cleaning three trailers and three fire trucks.

The key findings were determinations that:  firefighting foam trailer

  1. the proprietary cleaning agents tested were more effective at removing PFAS than plain water rinses,
  2.  residual PFAS remained in the foam trailers following cleaning with proprietary cleaning agents, and
  3. the residual PFAS present in the trailers will cross-contaminate new fluorine-free foam that may be used in the trailers in the future, potentially at levels high enough to exceed drinking water action levels. In those cases, deployment of the new foam may still pose a potential environmental and/or human health risk.

The results of the decontamination demonstration project are documented in the following reports:

Based on the results of these efforts, and following completion of a cost-benefit analysis, DEEP decided to pursue the purchase of new regional foam trailers rather than pursue decontamination of the remaining regional foam trailers.

Phase 3: Municipal Fire Apparatus Drainage (2023-2024)

Phase 3 of the Take-Back Program will involve the draining and decontamination of municipal fire apparatus statewide.  Removing AFFF from fire apparatus and fire suppression systems, cleaning or rinsing the apparatus and systems, and transitioning to fluorine-free foam are collectively significant environmental improvements over the continued use of AFFF.  These actions represent important risk reduction steps that should be taken by both public and private entities. 

DEEP in cooperation with the State Commission on Fire Prevention & Control has therefore issued Guidance Update: Draining and Rinsing AFFF from Municipal Onboard Systems (last updated May 2022). This guidance is intended to prevent the accidental discharge of PFAS-containing foam into the environment and is voluntary.  Municipal departments are encouraged to work with an experienced consultant and a licensed waste disposal operator when carrying out apparatus decontamination efforts. 

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection was allocated $3 million to administer a grant program to reimburse municipalities for the cost of removing Class B (AFFF) firefighting foam from municipal apparatus.  Eligible activities must have occurred after July 1, 2023 and include the draining and disposal of foam from apparatus, triple-rinsing apparatus after foam removal and disposal of resultant rinse water, and disposal of any additional drummed waste (e.g., PPE, containers) generated through completion of the above activities. Departments may also submit for reimbursement related to disposal of PRO/paks, PFAS-containing foam extinguishers, or any remaining stocks of AFFF concentrate. 

For additional information about the municipal AFFF removal reimbursement program, please visit DESPP's website or contact Jeff Morrissette, State Fire Administrator, at or 860-566-0690. 

Contact Information

For general AFFF-related PFAS questions and information, please email

For information about the AFFF Take-Back Program, please contact Jeff Morrissette, State Fire Administrator, at or 860-566-0690. 

Related DEEP Webpages


Content last updated February 16, 2024