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Water wells near airport to be sampled for PFAS

NEGAUNEE — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy as well as the Marquette County Health Department, will sample a select group of private drinking water wells surrounding the former Marquette County Airport in Negaunee Township for the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

PFAS chemicals can be present in groundwater and the environment as they are used to manufacture many products in everyday use, said MCHD, which indicated there is currently no evidence of PFAS chemicals in the groundwater within the area of concern.

However, PFAS is a component of aircraft firefighting foam known as aqueous film forming foam, which may have been discharged during training and maintenance exercises at the former airport while it was in operation.

As such, MDHHS has decided to pre-emptively test private water supply wells for the presence of PFAS within the immediate vicinity of the decommissioned Marquette County Airport.

Testing of about 50 wells surrounding the site wil be conducted by the firm AECOM under contract with MDHHS and EGLE and will begin the week of May 16. Additional testing and associated public health actions will be determined by data collected during the initial exploratory sampling effort.

For more information on PFAS, statewide sampling efforts, and health and environmental effects of PFAS contamination, visit www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/.

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