Former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Iosco County

PFC Contamination

In 2012, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a "do not eat" fish advisory for all fish caught from Clark's Marsh and for resident fish in the lower Au Sable River, south of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. Laboratory analysis of fish from the marsh and resident fish from the river showed levels of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the fish that are unsafe for people.  Migratory fish in the river are not expected to have high levels of PFCs but some have advisories due to other chemicals. 

In early 2016, MDHHS evaluated PFC analytical results from drinking water samples collected from private residential wells near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.  Although the results were not higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Health Advisory levels, MDHHS recommended that people not use their water for drinking or cooking.  This recommendation was based on the groundwater contamination at the Air Force base not being fully understood or controlled, toxicity concerns regarding several of the PFCs, lack of toxicity information on other PFCs present, and uncertainty in duration or amount of previous exposure. 

PFCs are chemicals that were used in fire-fighting foams on the former base.  MDHHS continues to assess the health risk from the PFC contamination.

PFCs in Drinking Water

Response to Community Concerns, June 6, 2016

Fact Sheet: PFCs in Drinking Water Wells Near WAFB, August 19, 2016

MDHHS Evaluation of Drinking Water Data, March 11, 2016

District Health Department #2 Health Advisory, February 26, 2016

MDHHS Recommendation Letter regarding Well Test Results, February 26, 2016

Well Test Results – Notification from MDEQ, February 22, 2016

Well Test Results – Notification from U.S. Air Force, February 3, 2016​

Letter to MDEQ Regarding Need for Drinking Water Data, June 17, 2015

PFCs in Locally Caught Fish

Eat Safe Fish in Iosco County brochure

Chemicals in Fish flyer

Eat Safe Fish Guide

For Public Comment - Health Consultation Regarding Fish Contamination, March 1, 2016

Fish Data Update, April 2015

Amended Letter Health Consultation 

Letter Health Consultation

Advice about eating fish from Clark's Marsh, Allen Lake, and the lower Au Sable River

Press release announcing Clark's Marsh fish advisory

Public Meeting Presentations

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting MDHHS Presentation, June 14, 2016

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting MDEQ Presentation, June 14, 2016

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting MDHHS Presentation, March 23, 2016​

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting MDEQ Presentation, March 23, 2016

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting USAF Presentation, March 23, 2016​

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting MDHHS Presentation, April 29, 2015

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting Presentation, February 12, 2014 

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting Presentation by the Michigan Department of Community Health, January 24, 2013

Former Wurtsmith AFB Public Meeting Presentation by the Air Force Civil Engineering Center, January 24, 2013

Related Documents

ATSDR website for PFCs

Letter to MDEQ Regarding Need for Wild Game Data, September 24, 2015

PFOS Frequently Asked Questions Fact Sheet

Emerging Contaminants, PFOS and PFOA

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Air Force fact sheet 

U.S. Civil Engineering Center

2001 Public Health Assessment

In 2001, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) wrote a Public Health Assessment of health risks posed by trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination in several on-base and off-base water supply wells.  Today, most drinking water in the area is provided by the Huron Shores Regional Utility Authority which meets all federal and state safe drinking water standards.

Former Wurtsmith Air Force Base Public Health Assessment, Part 1

Former Wurtsmith Air Force Base Public Health Assessment, Part 2

Tables

Figures

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E