Read the full article by Chris Hubbuch (Wisconsin State Journal)
“The Department of Natural Resources says an experimental technology has failed to keep so-called ‘forever chemicals’ from the Madison airport out of Madison’s lakes and streams, but county officials say they need more time to test it.
In May, after tests showed stormwater from the airport contained high levels of hazardous PFAS compounds, Dane County announced plans to test a system of booms and ‘bioavailable absorbent media’ — also known as BAM — to treat water draining into Starkweather Creek.
In letters sent Thursday to city and county officials, the DNR said the treatment ‘has not proven to be successful in reducing PFAS concentrations’ in water from the outfall.
The DNR has given the city and county until April 16 to come up with a new plan to keep PFAS from leaving the property.
Airport spokesman Michael Riechers provided a written statement saying ‘comprehensive results are not yet available,’ for the project, but preliminary results are ‘promising.’
‘However, as the process continues to be reengineered and refined, additional testing is required to determine its scalability and effectiveness in this particular environment,’ Riechers said. ‘The cleanup technology being tested is working on other sites and may be a feasible solution at the airport.’
Riechers said the county and its partners continue to assess the feasibility of using the technology for interim mitigation and long-term remediation and have yet to spend all of the $15,760 set aside for the BAM treatment.
‘This is a results-driven process and the technology is continually being refined to deliver more consistent results,’ Riechers said. ‘As such, there isn’t a specific date by which we can confidently say results will be finalized…’”