Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

The Social Discovery of a Class of Emerging Contaminants

Fairbanks, Alaska

Suspected contamination source: Firefighting foam used at Eielson Air Force Base and Regional Fire Training Center (State of Alaska press release, 2015)

Per and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFASs) were first discovered at the City of Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center (RFTC) and Eielson Air Force Base in 2015. Firefighting foam containing PFASs was used at the sites and is likely the cause of contamination. Since the discovery of PFOS in drinking water wells on-base, the Air Force discontinued the use of the wells from which samples exceeded the EPA Public Health Advisory (PHA) level. The Air Force then initiated groundwater sampling near the northern boundary of the base, in order to ascertain whether PFOS could be migrating off-base. Results showed widespread contamination, with PFOS exceeding the PHA level in groundwater from 10 feet to 100 feet below ground surface.


Additional Resources:

City of Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center Burn Pit

State of Alaska Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) Fact Sheet

Eielson Air Force Base Investigates Off-Base Migration of Contaminated Groundwater

Action Memorandum for a Time-Critical Removal Action Of PFC-Contaminated Water at Moose Creek, Alaska

Media Coverage:

Full citations are available on the second page of the full contamination site tracker. We ask for your additions, changes, questions and comments be sent to

%d bloggers like this: