An accident earlier this summer at Bradley International Airport caused thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals to spill into the Farmington River. The aviation support company responsible for that accident was also involved in a similar incident in California in 2016.
In June, a faulty manual fire alarm in an airplane hangar at Bradley triggered the release of firefighting foam containing PFAS, a group of chemicals that are highly toxic, and hard to remove from the environment. An estimated 50,000 gallons of the foam eventually made its way into the Farmington River.
The hangar is owned by Signature Flight Support, the same company involved in a similar incident at San Jose International Airport in 2016.
According to various news reports at the time, a malfunction of the fire suppression system in the hangar at the California facility caused the discharge of fire-suppression foam, and a lot of it. Foam completely filled up the 60 foot high hangar, then spewed out of the building and into the streets near the hangar.
The foam spill made national headlines, due in part to the spectacle of people walking and even bicycling in waist deep foam, giving the impression of a winter wonderland in sunny California.
The foam in the San Jose spill was identified in news reports as "aqueous film-forming foam" or AFFF, the same type of foam identified in the Bradley spill. It was not disclosed at the time whether the AFFF in San Jose contained PFAS, but according to the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council all AFFF products do contain PFAS.
When asked for comment, Signature Flight Support said they did not immediately have details about the 2016 foam spill.