Windsor Issues Health Advisory After B-17 Plane Crash at Bradley

The town of Windsor has issued a health advisory about the possibility of firefighting foam getting into the Farmington River after the plane crash at Bradley Airport.

A health advisory on the town of Windsor website says the state Department of Public Health as well as the town are alerting the public to a potential discharge of firefighting foam and advise people not to come into contact with foam they may encounter on the Farmington River or the river banks. They are also urging people not to take fish from the river.

The town is also warning people not to come into contact with any foam that might come from storm drains, manholes or catch basins.

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection's Spill Response team remains on scene at the airport and surrounding areas. DEEP says contaminants released following the crash include Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), glycol, and fuel.

This advisory is in effect while officials evaluate the potential impact to the watershed. 

DEEP's efforts are focused on Rainbow Brook immediately adjacent to the airport.

"While our goal is to contain the contamination in the immediate vicinity of the airport, we did out of an abundance of caution notify residents that same contamination may reach the Farmington River," a statement from DEEP read.

The precaution comes four months after tens of thousands of gallons of firefighting foam, containing the potentially dangerous chemical known as PFAS, spilled into the Farmington River after a malfunction at a Bradley hangar.

PFAS—The chemical used in that firefighting foam is under intense scrutiny in our state right now… It’s been known to potentially cause adverse health effects including cancer and developmental effects.

Since the spill back in June, NBC CT Investigates has learned that Bradley is mandated by the FAA to use fighting foam, however it is in the process of searching for alternatives. We’ve also learned that after the spill back in June, Bradley has had temporary permission to close the drains at the airport that eventually lead to the nearby MDC Treatment facility, where the foam travelled into the Farmington River in June.

NBC CT Investigates has learned exclusively from Windsor’s mayor that those storm drains at Bradley should still be closed.  There are booms that have been set up at that same spot where the foam travelled out into the river in June. NBC CT also saw multiple environmental service vehicles at and around Bradley today.

"What they’re trying to do is nip it in the bud up at Bradley airport between the containment areas under the tarmac back vacuuming of the storm drains in the north end of Windsor and also and also sitting a booms outside the MDC plant that ultimately discharges into the Farmington," Windsor mayor Don Trinks said.

Mayor Trinks tells NBC CT people in town also received a phone call alert telling them about the potential of foam coming into the Farmington River. Trinks tells us that the Department of Health said if foam makes it from Bradley, to the MDC plant and into the river they would start to see it around six to 8 pm tonight.

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