Read the full article by Laura Schulte (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“MADISON – A program aimed at destroying “forever chemicals” in the soil at the Dane County airport is showing promising results after its first nine months. 

Since deploying microbes to breakdown PFAS in the soil at the Dane County Regional Airport, there has been a 97% reduction in the amount of the toxic compounds month over month in a well installed to measure the compounds in nearby groundwater. 

‘We’re encouraged by the early results of the program and looking forward to expanding it and continuing our dedication to this effort,’ airport director Kim Jones said in a release. ‘Airports across the United States are all seeking solutions to combat this issue, and DCRA is proud to be on the leading edge of this innovative and promising technology.’

The results could indicate a way forward for other contaminated sites in Wisconsin and across the world looking for solution to remove PFAS at their source. 

‘This test is just the start of what could possibly be a widespread solution to remediating PFOA and PFOS at sites nationwide. We are very optimistic about these initial results, and look forward to what future tests prove to accomplish,’ Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, adjutant general of Wisconsin and head of the Wisconsin National Guard, said in a release. 

The Dane County airport is one of only a handful of sites in the world testing new technology that utilizes naturally occurring microbes from the soil to consume PFAS, breaking down the bonds in the compounds until all that remains are non-harmful substances. 

The airport and the 115th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, which operates Truax Field in the same area, are working with Fixed Earth, a Canadian-based company that specializes in the utilization of microbes to address contamination, as well as the Verona-based ORIN Technologies.” …