ESHB 2265

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 23 L 20

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Eliminating exemptions from restrictions on the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in firefighting foam.

Sponsors: House Committee on Environment & Energy (originally sponsored by Representatives Doglio, Leavitt, Shewmake, Duerr, Fey, Peterson and Pollet).

House Committee on Environment & Energy

Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology


According to the Department of Ecology (Ecology), perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals are characterized by their resistance to oil, stains, grease, and water, as well as their durability, heat resistance, and anti-corrosive properties. Ecology has also identified PFAS chemicals as persistent bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs).

In 2018 legislation was enacted to restrict firefighting foam, designed for flammable liquid fires, that contains intentionally added PFAS chemicals (PFAS foam). Under that legislation, since July 1, 2018, the use or discharge of PFAS foam for training purposes has been prohibited. In addition, beginning July 1, 2020, manufacturers, importers, and distributors may not manufacture, sell, or distribute PFAS foam. The 2020 restriction on manufacture, sale, and distribution of PFAS foam does not apply:

Violations of manufacture, sale, distribution, and use restrictions on PFAS foam are subject to civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation for initial offenses and up to $10,000 for repeat offenses.


Beginning January 1, 2024, the manufacture, sale, and distribution of PFAS foam for use in chemical plants, oil refineries, and oil terminals is prohibited.

However, chemical plants, oil refineries, and oil terminals may apply to the Department of Ecology (Ecology) for a waiver from PFAS foam restrictions. Ecology may issue up to two two-year waivers to an applicant that provides:

Restrictions on the manufacture, sale, or distribution of PFAS foam to persons that operate oil refineries or terminals do not prohibit a refinery or terminal from providing mutual aid to another refinery or terminal in the event of a fire.

Restrictions on the manufacture, sale, and distribution of PFAS foam for uses subject to Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) regulation, or where otherwise required by federal law, take effect two years after Ecology publishes findings in the Washington State Register relating to how federal regulations have changed so as to no longer require the use of PFAS foam. The Washington State Register publication must be specific with respect to the involved federal agency, PFAS foam use, and, if identified by the federal agency, the alternative firefighting agent authorized under the federal law or regulation. Eighteen months after Ecology's publication in the Washington State Register, FAA-certified airports must report to Ecology regarding their status with respect to obtaining PFAS-free firefighting agents and infrastructure. If any FAA-certified airport is unable to obtain PFAS-free firefighting agents or infrastructure due to lack of commercial availability, the restrictions on PFAS foam sales and distribution for use at airports do not take effect until three years after Ecology's original publication of findings in the Washington State Register.

Votes on Final Passage:








June 11, 2020