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Halifax Convention Centre, 1650 Argyle Street, Halifax, NS
June 4-5, 2019 

What, When, Where and Why: Firsthand Account of the Past, Present and Future of AFFF Use at the Department of National Defence
Ed Kirby and Gaétan Morinville
Department of National Defence
Presentation Objective: This presentation will provide direct insight from DND’s Fire Marshal’s Office and from a former DND mechanic/current RCAF hazmat officer on where, when and how different firefighting foams were used at DND over the past 60 years.

Flammable and combustible liquids are widely used by the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in support of operations. To ensure mission continuity, DND must maintain strong firefighting capabilities to effectively respond to fuel related fires in order to minimize health and safety risks and prevent significant damage to critical assets. Effective fire suppression agents are required to combat fuel related fires. As such, various types of firefighting foams have been used at DND since the early 50s to achieve the fire protection performance required to support operations. In the mid-60s, the development of very effective aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) began, which consequently led to the widespread use of fluorinated AFFF at DND sites starting in the early 70s.

This presentation will provide firsthand historical information and insight into firefighting culture and general practices, including the various applications of AFFF, frequency of use as well as typical, and not-so-typical, discharge locations. Details will be provided on historical training requirements and practices. In addition, information will be provided on historical equipment testing methods and practices used for different aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF) vehicles and fixed fire suppression systems at military Bases.

The audience will then be presented a summary of current firefighting practices and requirements and firefighting foam performance standards, from the ones used in ARFF vehicles during firefighting operations to those used in active fire suppression systems. Insight and guidance on the continued need and requirement to conduct NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) testing of AFFF to ensure operational readiness, as well as how testing in a controlled manner will minimize the impacts on federal property to prevent legacy contamination issues. A brief history of DND’s achievements in recent years and an overview of the challenges the department is facing when providing firefighting capabilities will be discussed. The importance of and challenges associated with using proper decontamination techniques when transitioning from one foam formulation to another (e.g., when transitioning to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) free foam) will also be presented.

Finally, the importance of continued firefighter training using foams will be discussed along with a perspective on the future of firefighting foams and potential replacement of fluorinated firefighting foams.

Ed Kirby, Hazardous Materials Officer, 1 Canadian Air Division, Department of National Defence
Ed Kirby joined the Canadian Forces in 1979 and started servicing military fire trucks in 1982. He remained as a military mechanic until 2008, when he moved to a civilian position as the 17 Wing Hazardous Materials Officer (HazMatO). Ed remained in that position until 2015, when he accepted a position at 1 Canadian Air Division as the Air Force Headquarters HazMatO. He remains in this position assisting Air Force locations across Canada with hazmat management.

Ed has a number of certifications, including being Emergency Vehicle Technician certificated, Factory Technician certified for Oshkosh and E-one trucks, Waterous Fire Pump certified, Lakeland College certified in Firefighting Vehicle Maintenance, and Hazardous Waste Operations certified (Magellan Engineering).

He has tested fire trucks across Canada from coast to coast and as far north as Alert. He has successfully disposed of approximately one million liters of AFFF from contained testing and equipment maintenance, ensuring proper disposal and incineration.

Gaétan Morinville, Canadian Forces Fire Marshal (CFFM) 4 Head of Fire Prevention, Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment) (ADM(IE)), Department of National Defence
Gaétan Morinville currently serves as the Head of Fire Safety Engineering for the Department of National Defence (DND). His career has spanned over 38 years with the Government of Canada: 28 years with the Royal Canadian Air Force, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, followed by 10 years as a public servant with the National Research Council of Canada and DND. In his military career, he spent 14 years as an operational military firefighter before becoming a fire officer and was appointed as the Canadian Forces Fire Marshal in 2005. He is an active member of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, the ULC Advisory Council, the ULC Committee on Firefighting Foams, the ULC Committee on Fire Tests and a member of the NATO Crash Rescue Panel. He is also Co-Chair of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs Building Code Committee. Gaétan has a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland and attended many specialized courses in fire safety engineering.

Managing PFAS Contamination at Your Site: Background, Site Characterization, Risk Assessment, and Risk Communication
Shalene Thomas, Wood
Ginny Yingling, Senior Hydrogeologist, Minnesota Department of Health
Chris Evans , Senior Environmental Hydrogeologist, Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Course Objectives: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are an emerging group of contaminants that present unique issues with site characterization, sampling and analysis, fate and transport, risk assessment and communication, and remedial choices. Regulators, site managers, problem owners, consultants, and technology developers will gain state of the art knowledge on PFAS and make better decisions on managing PFAS-impacted sites.

Course Overview: PFAS, comprising diverse groups of fluorinated chemicals (3,000+ in the global market), have been widely used since the 1950s in various military and industrial applications and consumer products. PFAS are not biodegradable and are relatively soluble in the environment. Their manufacturing and uses, without proper PFAS management and pollution controls, have made them nearly ubiquitous in the environment. Their unique characteristics also make this class of contaminants difficult to treat. In 2017-2018, the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) developed seven fact sheets that provide an overview on PFAS nomenclature and physical/chemical properties; sources and uses; regulatory trends; site characterization (including sampling and lab methods); fate and transport; treatment technologies; and, aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). The team is also developing a PFAS risk communications tool box and a more in-depth Technical and Regulatory Guidance Document on PFAS. This 3-hour ITRC classroom training led by PFAS experts from the state agencies and industry will provide an overview of PFAS in the environment and the key elements for characterizing and managing PFAS-impacted sites. This training class will allow our trainees to:

  • Gain essential knowledge on PFAS sources, uses and occurrence;
  • Develop an understanding of PFAS fate and transport;
  • Establish basic knowledge of PFAS uptake and bioaccumulations associated with different ecological and human receptors, and their potential toxic effects based on today’s state of the science; and,
  • Establish basic skills to communicate the risks associated with PFAS.

Additionally, case studies will be presented that demonstrate how each of these elements can be applied in site-specific projects. The training will also incorporate interactive learning experiences and Q&A sessions for reinforcing these learning objectives.

Shalene Thomas, the EmergingContaminant Program Manager and Global PFAS Work Group Lead for WoodEnvironment and Infrastructure Solutions (Wood E&IS) 
Shalene has more than 20 yearsof experience in environmental consulting, including more than 10 years ofexperience supporting government and industrial clients with PFAS. As the PFASWork Group lead for Wood, she oversees fate and transport (F&T),investigation, risk assessment, and remediation PFAS Technical Task Forces inexpanding the practice and state of science. Her experience includestoxicological evaluation of and technical response to risk-based PFASregulatory criteria, PFAS risk communication, management and oversight of humanhealth and ecological risk assessments, as well as management of PFAS projectsfor various State, Federal, and international clients. She has served as atechnical advisor for more than 100 PFAS project sites in the US, Australia andCanada. She is currently serving as the co-lead for the Aqueous Film FormingFoam (AFFF) Fact Sheet as part of the PFAS Interstate Technology &Regulatory Counsel (ITRC) Team as well as member of the regulatory task force.

Ginny Yingling, Senior Hydrogeologist, Minnesota Department of Health
Ginny Yingling is a Senior Hydrogeologist in the Environmental Health Division of the Minnesota Department of Health. Since 2003, she has been the agency’s lead investigator of PFAS. Ginny holds a bachelor of science degree from the Pennsylvania State University, and a master of science degree from the University of Wyoming, both in geology. She has over 25 years of experience working on contaminated sites. Ginny is also the co-chair of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council’s PFAS Team, a group of over 400 environmental professionals drawn from state and federal agencies, academia, industry, consulting, and public interest groups. The team has developed a series of seven factsheets on PFAS, conducts PFAS training events, is developing a PFAS risk communication toolbox, and is preparing a detailed report on the current state of knowledge regarding PFAS.

Chris Evans, Senior Environmental Hydrogeologist, Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Chris Evans has over 20 years’ experience in the environmental field, as a hydrogeologist and chemist. He completed a BS in Geology from Tufts University and MS in Geology from the University of Maine. He has worked on hazardous waste and oil investigation and remediation of federal and state regulated sites for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) for the last 17 years. He has been involved with PFAS sites since 2012 and serves as a technical lead for PFAS projects in the Bureau of Remediation at MDEP.

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