AFFF Take Back Program

Assisting fire departments in removing AFFF from current stockpiles and ensuring they are properly disposed of.

Local fire stations in New Hampshire have stocks of Class B firefighting foam concentrates (commonly referred to as aqueous film-forming foam or “AFFF”) that they wish to safely dispose of. These legacy foams are specialized products intended for use in fighting flammable liquid fires and contain long chain per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS), which have been associated with adverse health effects in humans. In 2019, the New Hampshire Legislature directed NHDES to implement an AFFF Take Back Program to inventory, consolidate and dispose of municipal stocks of legacy AFFF. NHDES has completed development of this program and will be implementing it beginning in summer 2024.

NHDES reached out to municipal fire departments across the state to obtain AFFF Self-Inventories with current quantities of AFFF concentrate they wish to dispose of. This effort was completed in June 2022.

The AFFF Take Back Program will remove and properly dispose of approximately 10,000 gallons of AFFF.

The following outlines the key elements of NHDES' AFFF Take Back Program:

  • NHDES has engaged a disposal contractor to manage the transportation and disposal of qualifying AFFF concentrate waste to an NHDES-approved facility. The contractor will use super critical water oxidation (SCWO) technology to safely destroy and dispose of these wastes.
  • The disposal contractor(s) will pick up AFFF wastes from participating fire departments at one pick-up location in each county. Each New Hampshire fire department will be responsible for bringing their AFFF concentrate to the designated pickup location on a date arranged by NHDES.
  • The contractor will be responsible for providing all necessary shipping manifests and ship the AFFF to the designated disposal facility in a timely manner.
  • The waste disposal contractor will provide a certificate of processing and analysis to NHDES once the AFFF inventory has been disposed of.