Read the full article by Chris Hubbuch (Wisconsin State Journal)

“New test results show water draining from the Madison airport contains harmful PFAS compounds at thousands of times the concentrations considered safe by other states.

Various fluorinated compounds, which have been linked to cancer and other health problems, were found in water taken from 23 outfalls, which drain into Starkweather Creek, according to a report provided Wednesday to the State Journal.

Water from 12 of the outfalls had levels of one such compound, PFOS, which tends to accumulate in fish, that exceeded the 12 parts per trillion limit set by Michigan, one of the few states to adopt PFAS standards for surface water.

One site had a PFOS concentration of 17,500 parts per trillion; another had a concentration of 2,220 ppt.

The report shows the chemicals at much higher concentrations and in areas that were not identified in tests conducted last year. The report notes that two of the areas with some of the highest contamination drain areas of the Wisconsin Air National Guard base, which has previously been identified as a source of PFAS.

Maria Powell, executive director of the Midwest Environmental Justice Organization and leading advocate for PFAS regulation, called the results “astounding.”

‘We hope Dane County will be identifying all of these PFAS sources and taking steps to remediate them as soon as possible,’ Powell said.

The county plans to begin a pilot study this month using booms and a technology known as bioavailable absorbent media — or ‘BAM’ — to treat water at the outfall with the highest concentration, according to the report.

According to the manufacturer, Orin Technologies, the treatment uses a honeycomb-type substance made mostly of carbon and derived from “a proprietary blend of organic materials” to soak up and eliminate biodegradable compounds…”