ARFF Training Areas Contamination
What are PFAS?
PFAS are "emerging contaminants," or chemicals with limited data on human health effects. PFOS and PFOA are the most studied. PFAS are used in products that resist fire, stains, grease, and water. While PFAS can be found in firefighting foam, they can also be present in furniture and carpets treated for stain resistance, waterproof clothing, and food packaging. Beginning in 2001, 3M and other major manufacturers of fire-fighting foams and consumer products containing PFAS-related chemicals began to phase out the use of PFOA and PFOS in these products due to findings that these chemicals can be harmful.
PFAS that enter the environment are known to persist for a long time and may travel long distances in groundwater.
To learn more visit the Division of Spill Prevention and Response Contaminated Sites website here.
- June 12, 2018: Invitation to Bid on FAI Water Infrastructure Project
- March 13, 2018: PDC Engineers Presentation
- March 13, 2018: R&M Consultants, Inc. Presentation
- March 7, 2018: FAI Open House Notice
- Feb. 22, 2018: Trace Concentrations of PFOS and PFOA in GHU Water Supply
- Jan. 29, 2018: Frequently Asked Questions
- Dec. 18, 2017: ADEC Presentation
- Dec. 18, 2017: FAI Presentation
- Dec. 18, 2017: DHSS Presentation
- Nov. 28, 2017: PFAS Public Meeting Notice
- Nov. 28, 2017: Sampling Results Confirm PFAS Presence off Airport Property
- Nov. 9, 2017: Letter to Potentially Impacted Residents
- Nov. 8, 2017: PFAS Discovered in Groundwater Near ARFF Training Areas
Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) was alerted in late October to concentrations of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the groundwater at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Training Areas. The PFAS discovered in the groundwater at the ARFF Training Areas are in concentrations higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) health advisory levels. FAI is working with an environmental consulting firm, Shannon & Wilson, Inc., and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to identify and sample private water wells west of the airport beginning Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. As of Dec. 12, 2017 FAI has received 97 results from the sampling areas. FAI is working internally on a plan to hook residents and businesses who test above the EPA’s health advisory levels to College Utilities during the summer 2018 season.
Regulatory Health and Cleanup Levels
The DEC published cleanup levels for two types of PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in groundwater in November 2016. The new groundwater-cleanup levels are described at dec.alaska.gov/spar/regulation_projects/cs18AAC75.htm.
The EPA established a provisional health advisory (PHA) level for PFOS and PFOA in drinking water in 2009. However, in May 2016, the EPA issued a new lifetime health advisory (LHA) level of 70 nanograms per liter for the sum of the PFOS and PFOA concentrations. This new level is significantly lower than the PHA resulting in an increased need for more widespread investigation of drinking water.
FAI has contracted water delivery services through Vision Construction Intl. LLC. Residents and businesses in sampling areas can call 479-0380 to set up an alternate drinking source. In the event residents or businesses require drinking-water prior to their scheduled delivery they can call the Fairbanks International Airport Communications Center at 474-2530 to arrange a water pick-up at the Airport Response Center located at 5195 Brumbaugh Blvd.
PFAS Fact Sheets
- GHU 2018 Annual Consumer Confidence Water Quality Report
- Protecting Public Health and Addressing PFAS Chemicals
- FAI PFAS Fact Sheet
- Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Frequently Asked Questions
- Fact Sheet - PFOA & PFOS Drinking Water Health Advisories
- Private Well Inventory Survey Form
For questions about testing & study:
Shannon & Wilson, Inc.
Marcy Nadel, Project Manager
For regulatory questions:
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservations,
Contaminated Site Program
Robert Burgess, Environmental Program Specialist III
Division of Spill Prevention and Response website:
For questions about PFAS health effects:
Alaska Department of Health & Social Services
Stacey Cooper, Health Assessor
Division of Public Health Website:
For questions about ARFF Training Area and all other inquiries:
Angie Spear, Division Operations Manager
Sammy Loud, Communications Specialist
For claim filing instructions:
Alaska Department of Administration
Division of Risk Management
Jack Albrecht, Claims Administrator
PO Box 110218
Juneau, AK 99811-0218