Read the full article by Steve Schulwitz (The Alpena News)

“ALPENA — It has been nearly four years since the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid were discovered at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center.

Today, the U.S. military, the state, and local health officials are moving forward to rectify the situation.

Cleanup efforts are still a ways off, however, as viable ways to remediate the area are still being explored.

Sampling and testing of drinking wells within a one-mile radius of the base continue, and nearly all tests have shown no unsafe water.

The government is currently exploring the best method to remediate the chemicals, which soaked into the ground during firefighting training over many years. The chemicals — also known as PFOS and PFOA, and collectively known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS — were used in foam used to combat fires. The practice of using the foam with the chemicals has stopped.

The cleanup work could begin this year, officials said.

PFAS have been proven to have negative health effects and can cause several types of cancer if ingested in too large an amount, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says.

In December, a phase-one kickoff meeting for the base cleanup was held with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Air National Guard, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and ATI-CTI, a contractor based in Maryland hired by the Air National Guard…”