A measure that bans the burning of foam with the chemicals perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl in the city of Cohoes was signed into law Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The bill addresses the burning of PFAS foam in the Capital Region city amid concerns of its potential to create adverse health effects in the surrounding community. Foam containing PFAS was disposed of at the Norlite facility in the city.
"While the federal government has failed to regulate these compounds or protect the health of our communities, New York continues to respond to the threats posed by emerging contaminants like PFAS in our environment with sustained science-based actions," Cuomo said.
"While this measure will ban incineration of firefighting foam containing these compounds in cities like Cohoes, our work is not over. We remain fully committed to this effort and will continue to advance comprehensive, statewide measures which protect all New Yorkers and our environment from emerging contaminants."
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Neil Breslin and Assemblyman John McDonald, was prasied by environmental organizations.
“Thanks to the powerful advocacy of residents in Cohoes, those who live in the Saratoga Sites housing complex, and many allies, New York now has a precedent-setting law to prohibit the burning of toxic PFAS in Cohoes. New York, being the first in the country to have such a law, has set a national standard for what it means to protect the public from these toxic chemicals," said Liz Moran, the environmental director at the New York Public Interest Research Group.
"There is no evidence that burning these chemicals is a safe, or effective, way of disposal. In fact, emerging data seems to indicate that this process does not eliminate the chemicals and may disperse them in the air, which threatens water and air quality in neighboring communities."