The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) investigates after firefighters in Burlington illegally used foam to extinguish a car fire.
A DEEP spokesman said the fire department responded to a completely submerged car fire on Route 6 on Wednesday evening. Universal Gold AFFF foam, which contains the chemical PFAS, was used to extinguish the fire.
According to DEEP, nobody was harmed during the fire.
The foam came from a tank in the fire engine. It is believed that at least a gallon and possibly up to three gallons were used in extinguishing the fire, DEEP said.
The type of foam used is no longer permitted in routine fire-fighting situations. Because PFAS is a group of chemicals, per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, which can be dangerous if they get into rivers and groundwater.
Governor Ned Lamont has signed a law banning the use of fire fighting foam and food packaging containing these substances.
Environmental Services, Inc. was hired to carry out the cleanup, which began Wednesday night and continued through Thursday, according to DEEP.
The foam on the road traveled about 90 yards to a catch basin believed to drain into the Farmington River. DEEP said the street and sumps were flushed and washed and the foam was vacuumed.
The cleanup continued through Thursday after foam was seen on the Farmington River drainpipe, DEEP said.
State and local health departments have been notified of the incident. Officials said there appeared to be no public or private drinking water supply close enough to be affected by the amount of foam released.
Officials are finding out when to dispose of the collected waste in a safe chemical disposal facility overseas.
According to DEEP, the state of Connecticut typically seeks to cover the costs from those responsible for the chemical spills. They said it was possible that Burlington Fire Department officials could be asked to pay those funds.