Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Oscoda, Iosco County - New

Updated: July 18, 2019Base Boundary - Former Wurtsmith Air Force Base

GSI Report and Town Hall Meeting Information


This is the primary site in Oscoda. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)  became aware of PFAS contamination in March 2010 when sampling was performed by EGLE staff at a former fire training area on the base. There is a current ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory for deer taken within five miles of Clark’s Marsh. The advisory is due to high levels of PFAS chemicals found in deer taken within five miles of the marsh. For additional information about this advisory and testing, visit the PFAS in Deer webpage.

Recent Accomplishments

  • On July 16, 2019, EGLE held a Town Hall meeting to discuss updates associated with the Oscoda Area and the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. There was an Open House from 4:00pm – 5:30pm, and a Town Hall from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. The Town Hall portion of this meeting was livestreamed starting at 6:30pm. 
  • On July 9, 2019, EGLE created an email list specifically for this site. Sign up for the email list to stay informed on important news, community meetings, and PFAS investigation updates. Updates are sent when significant content is added to the webpage, such as information on community meetings and when significant advancements in the investigation occur. Simply find the “Local Topic Updates”, then select “Former Wurtsmith Air Force Base and Oscoda Area Investigations”.
  • On July 1, 2019, EGLE issued a press release stating “EGLE and the USAF announce progress to accelerate PFAS investigation and treatment” at the former base.
  • On April 25, 2019, EGLE and the US Air Force met to discuss the dispute resolution.

Next Steps

  • During the week of June 24, 2019, EGLE and the US Air Force will meet to discuss site progress.
  • EGLE will continue working on action items from the first dispute resolution meeting that was held on April 19, 2018.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • For information on residential well testing and alternate water information, please visit the Oscoda Area page.
  • For additional information on residential well testing and results, visit the Frequently Asked Questions.
  • EGLE has sampled all municipal water supplies for PFAS. The community of Oscoda purchases water from the Huron Shores Regional Utility Authority (HSRUA). View the results for HSRUA.
Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# of Results Received

# of Non-detects

# Between Non-detect and standard*

# > Standard


March 2010 -
Apr 2, 2018
736 736 115 373 268
Surface Water May 2010 -
Sep 6, 2018
181 181 22 62 97
Drinking Water (Residential, schools) Sep 2015 -
May 22, 2018
390 390 116 272 2


  1,307 1,307 253 707 367

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Surface water and effluent results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA. 
*Residential well results are compared to the USEPA Lifetime Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA. 

Sampling notes

  • Sample totals in the above table reflect samples taken from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base and samples from the several Oscoda Area sites (excluding the Oscoda Township Dump).
  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.
  • Fifteen foam samples have been taken off-base. A “Do Not Eat the Foam” advisory was issued by the local health department. Results range from 2,237 - 110,830 ppt PFOA+PFOS; and 2,487 - 164,253 ppt total tested PFAS. Cedar Lake (off base) foam results at 165 ppt PFOA and PFOS.
  • Groundwater sampling is both on and off-base. Surface water sampling is off-base.


Report Foam on Van Etten Lake

  • If you observe foam on Van Etten Lake , please report it to the State of Michigan’s Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) hotline at 800-292-4706 or fill out and send this email form. The following information is needed when you call or email:

    Van Etten Lake Foam

    • Name, Address, City, State, and Zip
    • Telephone Number
    • Email
    • Where is the foam located? (an address or location)
    • How much foam is present, length by width by thickness? (we understand this is an estimate/best guess)
    • What time did you first observe the foam, and is it still present?
    • If it is a floating mass of foam, which direction is it moving?
    • Wind speed, wind direction, and air temperature? If not, this information is not essential.
    • Can you take a picture of the foam and attach it to this email?