Submissions open on Fire Fighting Chemicals Group Standard
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019
Submissions open on proposed amendments to the Fire Fighting Chemicals Group Standard 2017
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is seeking submissions on proposed amendments to the Fire Fighting Chemicals Group Standard 2017.
In 2018, the EPA carried out an investigation into the importation, manufacture, use and disposal of legacy firefighting foams containing PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) at airports, ports, refineries, bulk fuel storage sites, petrochemical sites and on New Zealand-registered ships.
Following the investigation, the EPA has been reviewing the Fire Fighting Chemicals Group Standard 2017 (“the Group Standard”) to ensure it meets the requirements of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1997 and manages the risks to public health and the environment posed by these chemicals.
The proposed amendments to the Group Standard are intended to decrease the environmental and public health risks due to firefighting foams. The proposed amendments will phase out firefighting foams containing PFAS, provide for the disposal of PFAS firefighting foams and PFAS waste products, and set restrictions on the use of PFAS firefighting foams during the 5-year phase out period.
The EPA considers that the proposed amendments will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Group Standard by clarifying the requirements for firefighting chemicals in New Zealand, further reducing the possible adverse effects of these chemicals to people and the environment. This will be achieved by restricting the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam and providing clear requirements on use and disposal.
Submissions close at 5pm on Monday 2 December 2019.