“Four of the five major airports in West Michigan have a history of using the same firefighting foam that has contaminated military bases around the country, according to a survey of the airports conducted by Target 8.

Firefighters used the AFFF foam at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, WK Kellogg Airport and Muskegon County Airport. It wasn’t clear if it was used at West Michigan Regional Airport in Holland.

It’s the same foam that led to PFAS contamination at military bases around the country, including Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda Township. That has led to contaminated wells, PFAS foam on a nearby lake and bans on eating fish

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport has used the foam for years in emergencies and during tests, said Airport Director David Reid. It was last used in an emergency in 2009…

The airport, like others, recently switched to a foam considered safer for the environment, Reid said.

‘We haven’t heard from the DEQ at this point. I know the state is still wrapping their arms around this issue and how to move forward, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they asked us to monitor at some point… but nothing as of yet,’ Reid wrote to Target 8.

At WK Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, the city’s fire department handles emergencies.

But before the fall of 2014, the Michigan Air National Guard used AFFF firefighting foam at the airport. Airport officials said AFFF was used at Kellogg during emergencies and while testing equipment…

The Muskegon County Airport in Norton Shores has started investigating its longtime use of AFFF…

Airport Manager Jeffrey Tripp said he is working with the DEQ to check for possible contamination.

The Norton Shores Fire Department had used the AFFF foam at the Muskegon County Airport since 1981, in response to aircraft emergencies and for testing and training, Tripp said.

Tripp said it wasn’t clear how much was used, but he called it a minimal amount. He said it appears the AFFF foam was allowed to drain into the ground.

Holland’s West Michigan Regional Airport, the former Tulip City Airport, doesn’t have its own fire department, but firefighters have trained there, said Airport Authority Manager Greg Robinson.”

Read the full article by Ken Kolker.