Farmington River Chemical Release: What happened?

On June 8th, an equipment malfunction at a private hangar at Bradley International Airport resulted in a discharge of firefighting foam into a drain connected to the municipal sewer system, ultimately leading to the MDC wastewater treatment plant in Windsor and discharging into the Farmington River. This foam contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as “PFAS.” PFAS may increase your risk of developing a variety of health effects. These include effects on growth and development (fetus, infant and children), on the immune and endocrine systems, and the thyroid, liver, and kidneys (everyone). Some studies have also shown a cancer risk at very high exposure levels (kidney, testicular). In the weeks since, the responsible company, Signature Flight, has hired an environmental engineering firm to help with the clean-up process and is cooperating and working closely with the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) and the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) to gain a larger understanding of the situation, to remove as much foam from the river as possible, and to begin greater efforts to understand what the long-term impacts may be to the ecosystem.