“Many of the people who showed up at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s town hall meeting in Springfield on Monday night were brought there by what they didn’t know about PFAS, a chemical compound once used in everyday products such as firefighting foam, non-stick cookware and Scotchgard.
Michigan launched a PFAS Action Response Team in 2017, and the state Department of Environmental Quality began seriously testing locations where PFAS contamination could be a particular concern.
It is the firefighting foam that has Battle Creek identified as an area to be tested. The Air National Guard base in Battle Creek used AFFF, a firefighting foam that contains PFAS, for more than 40 years before transitioning to a more environmentally friendly foam at the end of 2016…
‘It’s been a couple months since I’ve been briefed by both the people within the military as well as various state agencies and when we last discussed this situation we did not have data specific to Battle Creek to go on, so the release of this information is relatively new to me,’ said State Rep. John Bizon, who lives south of the test zone…
The state Department of Environmental Quality has been testing in sources of water for PFOS and PFOA, two of the many substances that fall into the PFAS category. The EPA set an advisory benchmark of 70 parts per trillion for PFAS in 2016.
Of the 61 wells tested in the Battle Creek testing zone, 41 had no PFOA or PFOS detected, 19 tested for less than 70 parts per trillion and one well in the Bedford Township area tested for 406 parts per trillion and then 411 parts per trillion in a retest.
Two monitoring wells right by the air guard base tested positive as well for 170 and 926 parts per trillion, but those wells are for testing only, and no one is drinking from them, so they should not be a cause for concern, said Gregg Brettman, a representative from the MDEQ remediation and redevelopment division…
Every municipal water source has been tested in the past few weeks, and results from those tests have yet to be released, according to Eric Pessell, the Calhoun County Public Health Department health officer.
The Air Force’s own investigation into PFAS contamination of groundwater on the base is waiting on the report on testing results from Washington, D.C., which should come at the end of summer, said Andrew Layton, the Battle Creek base’s public affairs officer.
The state Department of Environmental Quality’s own results of split samples from water wells on base showed the presence of 13 PFAS compounds, with the highest results at 21,500 parts per trillion of PFOA, 55,500 parts per trillion of PFOS and 38,400 parts per trillion of PFHxS.
When asked whether the Air National Guard would be addressing compounds other than PFOS and PFOA, Layton said it would continue to work off the EPA’s 70 parts per trillion advisory level.”
Read the full article by Natasha Blakely