Warning Remains in Place for Chemicals in Farmington River

It’s been nearly a week Donald Wassell has tackled the Farmington River for his favorite fish.

“Came down here, I saw the sign posted and I said just forget it,” Wassell said.

The advisories are still posted from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection warning people not to eat fish caught in the Farmington River near Poquonock Avenue south toward the Connecticut River.

On Sunday, DEEP warned that a firefighting foam that contains a chemical called PFAS was found in the river after it was released from a hangar at Bradley International Airport.

“It’s really unfortunate that we can’t go fishing down here and take the fish out,” Chris Jamilkowski said.

Officials from DEEP told NBC Connecticut that testing and evaluations from the river continue. Photos show the boom DEEP put in place to catch the foam, which it said contained most of the discharge and that dredging is not on the table.

But environmental advocates are now calling for state lawmakers to take action. “We urge Connecticut officials to move quickly to prevent further harm to the river and all of the state’s precious water resources by taking common sense steps to safeguard the public and the environment from PFAS contamination,” Executive Director of the Farmington River Watershed Association Bill Dornbos said.

“I won’t do it again, I will not do it again,” Wassell said.

For fisherman like Wassell, it's what could be in the water that will keep him away from here for good.

A spokesperson for the Connecticut Airport Authority, which runs Bradley International Airport said the firefighting foam containing PFAS is mandated by the FAA.

In a statement, they said in part, “We are undergoing a thorough review of all tenant facilities and we are reiterating the importance of these containment measurements with a requirement that all CAA tenants take steps to ensure that such release does not occur in the future.”

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