Bill Details - SB257 (2019)

SB 257-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

03/14/2019   0845s

2019 SESSION

19-1011

08/03

 

SENATE BILL 257-FN

 

AN ACT prohibiting foams containing perfluoroalkyl chemicals for use in fighting fires.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Sen. Rosenwald, Dist 13; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. Levesque, Dist 12; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist 16; Rep. Goley, Hills. 8

 

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill prohibits the use of foams containing perfluoroalkyl chemicals in fighting fires.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/14/2019   0845s 19-1011

08/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT prohibiting foams containing perfluoroalkyl chemicals for use in fighting fires.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Section; Certain Chemicals In Firefighting Foam.  Amend RSA 154 by inserting after section 8-a the following new section:

154:8-b  Certain Chemicals Prohibited in Firefighting Foam.

I.  In this section,

(a)  "Class B firefighting foam" means foam designed for flammable liquid fires.

(b)  "Department" means the department of environmental services.

(c)  "Firefighting personal protective equipment" means any clothing designed, intended, or marketed to be worn by firefighting personnel in the performance of their duties, designed with the intent for the use in fire and rescue activities, including jackets, pants, shoes, gloves, helmets, hoods, and respiratory equipment.

(d)  "Legacy foams" means firefighting foams manufactured prior to January 1, 2004, containing PFAS chemicals.

(e)  "Manufacturer" includes any person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, governmental entity, organization, joint venture, importer, or domestic manufacturer or distributor of firefighting agents or firefighting equipment.  For the purposes of this section, "importer" means the owner of the product.

(f)  "Municipalities" means any county, city, town, fire district, regional fire district, or other special purpose district that provides firefighting services.

(g)  "Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances" or "PFAS chemicals" means, for the purposes of firefighting agents and firefighting equipment, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.

(h)  "Testing" includes calibration testing, conformance testing, and fixed system testing.

II.  Beginning on January 1, 2020, no person, local government, or state agency shall discharge or otherwise use for training or testing purposes class B firefighting foam.  However, the testing of class B firefighting foam may occur if the department has evaluated the testing facility for containment, treatment, and disposal measures to prevent uncontrolled release of foam to the environment.

III.  Beginning January 1, 2020, a manufacturer of class B firefighting foam shall not manufacture, knowingly sell, offer for sale, distribute for sale, or distribute for use in this state class B firefighting foam to which PFAS chemicals have been intentionally added.

IV.  The restrictions in paragraph III shall not apply to any sale or use of class B firefighting foam where the inclusion of PFAS chemicals are required by federal law, including but not limited to the requirements of 14 C.F.R. section 139.317, as that section existed as of January 1, 2018.  In the event that applicable federal regulations change after January 1, 2018, to allow the use of alternative firefighting agents that do not contain PFAS chemicals, the department may adopt rules for the sales and uses of firefighting foam that are addressed by the federal regulation that restrict the use of firefighting foam that contains PFAS chemicals.

V.  Beginning January 1, 2020, a manufacturer or other person that sells firefighting personal protective equipment to any person, municipality, or state agency shall provide written notice to the purchaser at the time of sale if the firefighting personal protective equipment contains PFAS chemicals.  The written notice shall include a statement that the firefighting personnel protective equipment contains PFAS chemicals.  All notices shall be included in all personal files of all employees using the firefighting personal protective equipment which contain perfluoroalkyl chemicals

VI.  The manufacturer or person selling firefighting personal protective equipment and the purchaser of the equipment shall retain the notice on file for at least 3 years from the date of the transaction.  Upon the request of the department, a person, manufacturer, or purchaser shall furnish the notice, or written copies, and associated sales documentation to the department within 60 days.

VII.  A manufacturer of class B firefighting foam restricted under paragraph III shall notify, in writing, persons that sell the manufacturer's products in this state about the provisions of this chapter no less than one year prior to the effective date of the restrictions.

VIII.  A manufacturer that produces, sells, or distributes a class B firefighting foam restricted under paragraph III shall recall the product and reimburse the retailer or any other purchaser for the product.

IX.  The department may request a certificate of compliance from a manufacturer of class B firefighting foam or firefighting personal protective equipment.  A certificate of compliance attests that a manufacturer's product or products meets the requirements of this chapter.

X.  The department shall assist the office of strategic initiatives, other state agencies, fire protection districts, and other municipalities to avoid purchasing or using firefighting agents containing PFAS chemicals, as required under paragraph III.  The department shall assist the office of strategic initiatives, other state agencies, fire protection districts, and other municipalities to give priority and preference to the purchase of firefighting personal protective equipment that does not contain PFAS chemicals.

XI.  A manufacturer of class B firefighting foam in violation of paragraph III shall be subject to an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each violation in the case of a first offense.  Manufacturers or persons that are repeat violators shall be subject to an administrative fine not to exceed $10,000 for each repeat offense.

XII.  Beginning on January 1, 2021, the department shall institute a take-back program of legacy foams for the purpose of safe and contained disposal.

XIII.  Fire departments which use remaining class B firefighting foam shall be immune from civil or criminal damages only if discharged in an emergency situation.  

XIV.  Any time a class B firefighting foam is discharged, the agency or department making such discharge shall notify the department of environmental services within 48 hours of such discharge.  

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

LBAO

19-1011

1/22/19

 

SB 257-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT prohibiting foams containing perfluoroalkyl chemicals for use in fighting fires.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [    ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Hazardous Waste Cleanup Fund

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill prohibits the use of foams containing perfluoroalkyl chemicals in fighting fires.  The Department of Environmental Services (DES) indicates this bill prohibits the manufacture, sale and distribution of Class B firefighting foam, to which PFAS chemicals have been intentionally added, for use in New Hampshire except for use at facilities where inclusion of PFAS chemicals are required by federal law.  This prohibition would take effect on July 1, 2021.  

The bill requires that:

  • Manufacturers or other persons that sell firefighting personnel protective equipment  provide written notice to the purchaser at the time of sale if the equipment contains PFAS chemicals.  The bill includes requirements for of documentation related to such notifications.
  • Manufacturers of class B firefighting foam provide written notification to persons selling  the manufacturer's products in the state about the provisions of this bill no less than one year before the effective date of the restrictions (July 1, 2021).  
  • Manufacturers that produce, sell, or distribute a class B firefighting foam to recall the product and reimburse the retailer or any other purchaser for the product.  It is assumed such required recall and reimbursement would apply to foams purchased after the effective date of  July 1, 2021.  If so, it is assumed state, county and local   firefighting agencies could use their existing stock of PFAS-containing class B firefighting foam and not be required to dispose of their existing stock of foams.
  • DES assist the Office of Strategic Initiatives, other state agencies, fire protection districts, and other municipalities to avoid purchasing or using firefighting agents containing PFAS chemicals.  It is assumed the assistance would be outreach to applicable parties and continued research into the nature and use of PFAS chemicals on a national scale regarding class B firefighting foams and alternative products that do not contain PFAS chemicals.  Such assistance would not include funding support or guidance relative to appropriate firefighting alternatives which would more appropriately be the purview of the Office of the State Fire Marshall.
  • DES assist the Office of Strategic Initiatives, other state agencies, fire protection districts, and other municipalities to give priority and preference to the  purchasing of firefighting personal protective equipment that does not include PFAS chemicals
  • DES establish an administrative fine of $5,000 for each violation associated with paragraphs II or IV of the bill and a maximum fine of $10,000 for each repeat offense.

 

DES assumes revenue from the fines would be deposited into the General Fund but, it is not possible to predict how many violations would occur or the amount of additional revenue.  There would be no additional revenue to county and local governments.  DES's responsibilities would include outreach and research, efforts to monitor compliance with the ban, notice of the requirements and enforcement of the requirements.  The effort and resources required to meet these responsibilities is not known, and the additional cost cannot be estimated.   Since the bill does not require firefighting agencies to cease use of, or dispose of their existing PFAS-containing class B firefighting foam purchased prior to July 1, 2021, DES assumes the bill would not increase  costs  for state, county  or  local  governments prior to the effective date.  The DES has no information on the price difference between PFAS-containing class B  firefighting  foam  and alternative foams, so the potential cost to state, county and local governments to purchase  alternative firefighting foams is indeterminable.

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association states the restriction on the use of class B firefighting foam containing perfluoroalkyl or perfluoroalkyl substances may require municipal fire departments to purchase different firefighting substances which may be more or less expensive than the restricted substances.  Some municipalities may receive reimbursement for the foam already purchased, which may partly offset the cost of purchasing new products.  The Association has no information on the cost of these products or how common use of the restricted foam is in New Hampshire and assumes the effects of this bill would vary among municipalities.  The Association indicates there would be no impact on local revenues.

 

The Office of Strategic Initiatives has no information on the manufacture, distribution, sale or use of firefighting foam and equipment.  The Office states the bill does not provide specifics on how it would work with the other state agencies, fire protection districts and municipalities to avoid purchasing agents containing PFAS or give preference to purchasing non-PFAS protective equipment.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Environmental Services, Office of Strategic Initiatives, and New Hampshire Municipal Association

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Executive Departments and Administration; SJ 4
Feb. 6, 2019 Hearing: 02/06/2019, Room 101, LOB, 10:00 am; SC 9
March 14, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-0845s, 03/14/2019; SC 13
March 14, 2019 Committee Amendment # 2019-0845s, AA, VV; 03/14/2019; SJ 8
March 14, 2019 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2019-0845s, RC 23Y-1N, MA; OT3rdg; 03/14/2019; SJ 8

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 6, 2019 Senate Hearing
March 14, 2019 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB257 Revision: 5243 Date: Jan. 25, 2019, 9:30 a.m.
SB257 Revision: 5538 Date: March 14, 2019, 4:19 p.m.