Malfunction releases 100 gallons of fire suppression foam at WPAFB

ajc.com

FAIRBORN — An electrical component malfunction Thursday released about 100 gallons of fire suppression foam at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, officials at the base said.

The Ansul JetX foam — an alcohol-based expansion foam that cools the flames and coats the fuel to prevent its contact with oxygen — was released in aircraft hangar 4016 in Area A on the base, according to a news release.

Ansul JetX foam does not contain perfluorooctane sulfonate or perfluorooctanoic acid, which are types of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) called forever chemicals because they accumulate over time and do not break down.

Wright-Patterson AFB and its firefighters no longer use foam containing PFAS, officials said.

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The fire-suppressant foam was not released into the local waterways and there is no threat to groundwater, Director of the 88th Civil Engineer Group Steven Vincent said.

The 88th Civil Engineer environmental management officials notified the city of Fairborn’s wastewater treatment plant officials. Environmental management personnel, with support from Fairborn personnel, are taking mitigation measures to reduce effects to the base and surrounding communities, base officials said.

Employees at the Fairborn water treatment plant are monitoring the Fairborn treatment site, but have not yet seen anything related to the spill, Communications Manager Meghan Howard said. Fairborn crews were not involved with spill cleanup.

“We take our relationship with community partners seriously, especially when it comes to potential environmental impacts,” Col. Pat Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander stated. “Our environmental management team is working diligently with our Fairborn partners to ensure we minimize any impacts to the local community.”

Wright-Patterson AFB maintenance personnel are troubleshooting the system to determine the cause of the malfunction, the release stated.