The investigation into and treatment of PFAS contamination at the site of a former Air Force base in Michigan is set to intensify.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the U.S. Air Force made the announcement together this morning.

The Air Force will accelerate the current investigation and increase water treatment due to PFAS contamination at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

The announcement comes after a dispute on April 25, 2019 between the two parties, over the nature of the investigation.

This morning's announcement confirms the following:

  • USAF confirmed that the Mission Street groundwater treatment system will be operational by the end of 2019. This system will be used to capture and treat PFOS/PFOA contaminated groundwater identified during the Site Inspection phase at former Wurtsmith.
  • USAF agreed to use Michigan’s 12 parts per trillion groundwater-surface water interface (GSI) criterion in its investigation when sampling and measuring perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). There is also agreement between USAF and EGLE that Michigan’s cleanup standards for groundwater used as drinking water and the GSI criterion will be evaluated as legally applicable requirements when the Air Force is selecting remedial actions at Wurtsmith under the statutory process known as consideration of Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements (ARARs).
  • USAF committed to completing and submitting the ongoing Expanded Site Inspection (ESI) report to EGLE by the end of this calendar year. The report will present results of the current field work to determine the presence and impact of PFOS/PFOA at the former installation and evaluate the effectiveness of existing interim remedial action treatment systems that are capturing and treating groundwater, such as at FT-02. The report will recommend locations requiring further remedial investigation as well as identify focus areas where additional groundwater extraction wells may be needed.
  • USAF will review the possibility of other Interim Remedial Actions for groundwater contaminant plumes venting into Van Etten Lake.
  • USAF committed to implementing a Base-wide Remedial Investigation following an evaluation of the ESI results.

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