“A letter sent this week from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to the city of Dayton sheds more light on how the two parties are addressing potential water contamination emanating from the base and a city-owned site.

To date, the Air Force has spent more than $4 million in remediation efforts that included hundreds of sampling analyses on the monitoring wells. These results have been sent to the city officials, according to Col. Bradley McDonald, Wright-Patt commander.

The specific contaminants affecting groundwater are man-made chemicals known as Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). PFOS and PFOA are components of many industrial and commercial products, including a legacy firefighting foam used by the Air Force and civilian airports to combat petroleum-based fires associated with aircraft fires.

‘We continue to share your concerns with water contaminated by legacy firefighting foam,’ McDonald wrote to Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein. ‘The Air Force is committed to protecting human health and the environment, and we are working aggressively to ensure our installation and supporting communities have access to safe drinking water. You have requested the Air Force take urgent action and I can assure you, we already have.’

But the firefighting foam, known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam or AFFF, isn’t just a concern at the base. The city has tested and identified elevated levels of contaminants near the vicinity of the Dayton Fire Training Center on McFadden Street.

According to McDonald, test results showed contaminant levels ranging from 3.7 to 1,285 parts per trillion were detected at the site, which is well above the EPA limit of 70 ppt. At the base, the city’s monitoring network samples indicated low levels of PFAS — less than 10 ppt — well below what the EPA considers to be a health issue…

The city says it has put a process in place where any sampling data would automatically be reported to management, which will notify the appropriate regulators. In terms of disciplinary action for the staff member who failed to report the data, the city stated it is evaluating the situation and has not made any decision about discipline.

As for the Air Force letter, the city wrote it is disappointed in the commander’s response.”

Read the full article by John Bush.