b'74 INDUSTRY INSIDEROur Transition to Fluorine-Free Foam The Port of Seattle FireThe fire department leadership and Department continues on a five- the airport environmental team need toRandy Krause, year journey to find the safest,be in shoulder-to-shoulder partnershipis fire chief of the most efficient aircraft firefighting foamto set your airport up for a successfulPort of Seattle Fire Department. (AFFF) replacement and make Seattle- transition. As a fire chief, I could not do Tacoma International (SEA) one of the firstthis without my environmental team. It U.S. airports to complete the steps foris not just as simple as draining out the the transition after federal approval. old foam and putting in the new foam.is currently undergoing testing for FAA In 2018, it was obvious the FAA wouldI am going to specifically address theapproval. Once a cleaning technology, be identifying a new fluorine-free foamARFF truck transition, but you all mustwaste handling strategy and new formulation to replace MIL-Spec Fluorinerealize that hangars, fuel farms and otherfluorine-free foam product are identified, based AFFF. Immediately, our airportlocations will also need to be convertedyou can then assess costs for the leadership was supportive and togetherfor a complete transition.eventual transition.we engaged the FAA, DepartmentARFF truck cleaning has been a topicThe next step along the way is to of Defense, foam manufacturers,of discussion within the industry. I havesecure funding for the transition. The environmental entities and electedconcluded that once we drain trucks offire department and the environmental officials to make sure we were on topthe AFFF product, it will take more thanteam at SEA made a presentation to of any developments. That outreachrinsing the tanks and piping to removeour aviation executive and secured allowed us to understand that thisas much residual AFFF as possible. Fromfunds to allow us to transition at the first was going to be a complex and time- the beginning, we have been interestedopportunity.consuming endeavor. in a technology that can clean the trucks better than just a water rinse, but at theAfter funds are secured, identify with There have been a lot of great peopleyour procurement team. At the Port and many successes along the waysame time help reduce the amount of waste we will have to dispose of off-site. of Seattle, we must use a competitive that have allowed the industry to makeprocess for our purchases and have progress on this challenging issue.As an airport, you will have manyrecently put out two requests for Where are we? Today, we as an industryoptions. But deciding what to do withproposalsone for cleaning and one for are expecting that U.S. airports willthe drained raw product and waste mustnew fluorine-free products.soon have the opportunity to select frombe the highest of priorities. We plan to a list of approved fluorine-free foamstore our raw AFFF product and workOf course, this is a simplified version productspossibly in September. Whatwith the Washington State Departmentof the overall work and process. Each I want to share is not the details of ourof Ecology on disposal at some point inairport is sure to experience a unique five-year journey, but what airport firethe future. set of circumstances. If you have any chiefs, aviation executives and airportquestions, we here at SEA would be After identifying a cleaningmore than happy to assist in any way environmental teams should be thinkingmethodology and devising a strategy to about and preparing for as the day nearsto help you with your planning and manage waste, the next step will be topreparation for the transition to new for fluorine-free products to be available. identify a fluorine-free foam product that fluorine-free foam products. October 2023AirportImprovement.com'