The Ohio EPA has teamed up with fire departments to get rid of old fire suppressant foam that is sitting on the shelves in stations. 

The substance is known to have PFAS or forever chemicals in it which can find their way into drinking water if it's not taken care of. 

“PFAS breaks down over time and becomes harmful to human beings when it’s ingested,” Anne Vogel, Ohio EPA Director said. “We know that there are potential health implications of too much PFAS in the drinking water so anything we can do to keep it from reaching drinking water is what we'll do at the Ohio EPA. 

The foam also puts fire fighters at risk while using it - which is part of the reason why Governor Mike DeWine banned departments from training with it in 2022. 

At the collection almost 3,000 gallons of the foam were dropped off and sealed up. Crews will take it to Columbus where it will be put into a machine that breaks it down and destroys the forever chemicals. 

“They’re not putting it in landfills, they're not putting it in injection wells, they're not burning it,” Vogel said. “But the byproduct is water that does not contain PFAS.” 

The East Palestine Fire Department dropped off five cans at the collection. Chief Keith Drabick said it's a relief to see it gone. They and many other fire departments across the state now used a different kind of foam to ensure the environment is safe and so are the crews. 

“We have to buy safe foam and that’s a cost but it's a cost that we have to incur in order to provide the protection that we need to,” Drabick said.