Read the full article by Ryan Boldrey (MLive)

“PORTAGE, MI — Tests of 25 private wells near a former Portage landfill where PFAS was discovered in 2019 all showed low to moderate detection levels of fluoro-chemical contamination.

PFAS was first discovered in groundwater at the site, now home to South Westnedge Park, in May 2019 after the city began testing for it.

The 25 wells tested are all located southwest of the park at 9010 S. Westnedge Ave. Testing will continue expanding outward, tracking the potential plume of PFAS, until the city finds a zero reading, Portage Deputy City Manager Michael Carroll told MLive previously.

In an effort to update the community, the city will host an informational meeting this week in collaboration with the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Portage City Hall. An informational open house will be held before the meeting, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

PFAS are a family of thousands of synthetic chemicals used in nonstick and waterproof products and firefighting foam. Exposure to the chemicals has been linked to health problems like cancer and autoimmune disease. They have been nicknamed “forever chemicals” because the compounds resist breaking down in the environment.

Residents of the recently tested sites have all been informed of results, according to a news release from the city of Portage.

One home in the 300 block of Calico tested on Jan. 24 for the individual compound PFOS at 12-parts-per-trillion (ppt), according to data provided with the release.

That individual detection is the only one from the 25 wells above the state health department’s drinking water screening levels for PFAS compounds; however, it is still below the state environment department’s proposed drinking water standard of 16 ppt.

The highest total PFAS detection was 58 ppt, found in a well in the 700 block of Gaberdine Avenue on Jan. 27. All tested homes had some level of PFAS detection, ranging between 11 ppt and 58 ppt.

Seven of the 25 wells tested at 30 ppt or higher, with two above 40, one of those at 46 ppt in the 500 block of Gaberdine and the home in the 700 block of Gaberdine at 58 ppt.

The most frequently detected compound was PFBS. The state of Michigan is currently considering a 420 ppt limit on PFBS. None of the wells tested in Portage were tested at higher than 49 ppt for PFBS.

In recent years, experts have become increasingly concerned by the potential effects of high concentrations of PFAS on human health.

And while the data provided by the city shows all private wells tested below EPA health advisory levels of 70 ppt, one independent public health expert said residents should be concerned with any level of exposure to toxic chemicals…”