Suspected contamination source: Firefighting foam used at Barnes Air National Guard Base (Ashworth, 2017)
The U.S. National Guard is suspected of contaminating private and public wells with PFAS. The chemicals allegedly came from firefighting foam used at Barnes Regional Airport and the Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing.
Elevated levels of PFOA and PFOS were initially found during EPA’s Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) testing, however the levels detected were within EPA’s health advisory levels (at the time were 400 parts per trillion for PFOA 200 parts per trillion for PFOS). When the EPA lowered its advisory levels in 2016 to 70ppt combined PFOA/PFOS, the town released a drinking water health advisory.
Barnes Airport is situated on top of the Barnes Aquifer, where the shut down wells received their water.
Health Advisory Update
2016 well testing results
Community group- Westfield Residents Advocating For Themselves (WRAFT)
- Western Mass News Investigates: Westfield contaminated water
- Water contamination in Westfield draws visit from MassDEP
- Westfield’s drinking water may contain harmful chemicals
- What’s being done in Westfield to clean the city’s drinking water?
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