DEP is in the process of performing environmental assessments related to the historic and current use of chemicals found in aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) at fire training facilities throughout Florida. These chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), are synthetic industrial chemicals that have been identified as Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC). CECs are chemicals that have been recently detected in the environment which may pose public health or ecological risks. Because of this long-term potential risk to human health and the environment, DEP, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health (DOH), is working with fire training facilities across the state to address CECs associated with AFFF.
In 2018, DEP conducted a statewide survey of 45 certified fire training facilities. This survey gathered information regarding each facility’s historic use of AFFF and the source of each facility’s drinking water. In addition, the survey identified the likely locations of nearby public and private potable wells. This information was used to prioritize the order in which the facilities were evaluated. The Department assessed 25 fire training facilities where usage of AFFF was confirmed or suspected. The goal of completing these preliminary assessments was achieved in February 2020. Where contamination was identified, DEP will help the facility develop a cleanup plan to remove or contain the contamination to prevent future environmental impact and human exposure. DEP is undertaking these same obligations where contamination was identified on properties owned by the State including the Florida State Fire College.
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DEP’s Water Supply Restoration Program provides access to bottled water or other alternative water supply to any affected well owner whose test results exceed the established EPA Health Advisory Level. This voluntary program also provides funding for a filter, well restoration or connection to public water system as necessary to ensure a safe drinking water supply. A temporary water supply is provided until a more long-term solution is established.
DEP is in the preliminary stages of evaluating fire training facilities no longer in operation that may have endured environmental impact caused by AFFF releases.
DEP is committed to providing timely information to the public regarding these efforts. This web page will be dedicated to making information readily available and accessible to the public.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.