Background

  • Last Updated: October 21, 2021

    Former Wurtsmith Air Force Base & Oscoda Area MapEGLE Site Lead:
    Amanda Armbruster
    ArmbrusterA@Michigan.gov
    989-450-6377

    Several individual PFAS sites have been identified in the Oscoda area and near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base (WAFB).  Many of the sites were identified when the department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) initiated sampling activities in areas where PFAS use or disposal was suspected.  Other sites were found by area-wide residential well sampling efforts and investigations completed to help understand where PFAS was being found in groundwater community wide.  EGLE's contractor also conducted sampling to better understand potential impacts from the former WAFB.  Because the Oscoda Area and former WAFB investigation activities are somewhat intertwined, please visit the Former WAFB page at Michigan.gov/Wurtsmith for more information. 

    All Oscoda Area Documents
    All Wurtsmith Documents

    The Oscoda Area PFAS sites identified by EGLE's investigation efforts include:

    • Colbath Road
    • Loud Drive
    • Oscoda Area Schools/Pinecrest and River Roads
    • McDonald Store Fire
    • Oscoda Township Dump
    • AuSable Township Smith Street Area

    Details regarding each of these sites are provided and retained under their respective timelines below. 

  • Recent Accomplishments

    • The week of October 11, 2021, EGLE's consultant conducted a groundwater sampling event.  Monitoring wells were sampled in Colbath Road, Loud Drive, Oscoda Area Schools/Pinecrest and River Roads, and Au Sable Township Areas.
    • Four new documents were added to the "All Oscoda Area Documents" tab located on the top and bottom of this webpage.  New figures and a summary table that include groundwater results for the July 2021 quarterly monitoring event, a May 2021 Factsheet about What to Know about PFAS in the Oscoda Area and a January 2019 investigation report for the Oscoda Township Dump were added.   
  • Next Steps

    • EGLE will continue to coordinate sampling of several monitoring wells throughout the Oscoda Area on a quarterly basis.  Monitoring wells will be sampled in the Colbath Road, Loud Drive, Oscoda Area Schools/Pinecrest/River Roads and Au Sable Township areas.
    • Monthly coordination calls will be held between EGLE and several parties including, but not limited to, DHHS, DHD2, Oscoda Township and Au Sable Township.

    Sampling Results Summary

    This table reflects data received after August 3, 2020.  Data prior to August 3, 2020 is reflected in the timeline below. 
    This table was updated to include all seven PFAS criteria effective December 21, 2020.

    Type of Sample

    Date Sampled (or range)

    Number of Sample Results Received

    Number of Samples above Criteria*

    Groundwater Monitoring Wells July 2020 - July 2021 149 54
    Drinking Water Wells January 2020 8 0
    Surface Water July 2020 - July 2021 5 0

    * Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results on this table were collected by EGLE and are compared to EGLE's Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds:  PFOS (16 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).
    * Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.

    Additional sampling data can be found on the Former Wurtsmith Air Force Base site page.

    Sampling Notes

    • On August 3, 2020 and December 21, 2020, a total of 7 PFAS compounds became effective under Part 201 Criteria.  Historical sampling data was compared to the old Part 201 Criteria of 70ppt for PFOS+PFOA and is captured in the historical timeline below.
  • Residential Well Alternate Water Information

    DHHS is offering drinking water well retesting to Oscoda-area residents whose wells were previously tested for PFAS or who were offered drinking water filters, or both. There is no charge for the testing.

    Testing is currently underway and DHHS is contacting residents by letter and by phone to schedule water collection appointments. Seasonal residents who are away for the winter can schedule an appointment at a later date.

    The goal of the repeat testing is to:

    • Determine if PFAS is in residential wells
    • If so, the amount
    • If the amount of PFAS is increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same over time

    DHHS will be retesting these drinking water wells in coordination with EGLE, and DHD2. Residents who have questions about this PFAS testing effort or who would like to schedule an appointment can call the DHHS Drinking Water Hotline at 844-934-1315.

    • 206 households have been provided filters by DHD2 and 252 filter replacements have been conducted (as of 7/14/21).
    • 50 households were provided water coolers by DHD2 (as of 7/14/21).
    • 29 households have been connected to municipal water (as of 7/14/21).

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • Upcoming Community Engagement

    • A virtual community meeting to update residents on activities associated with WAFB and the Oscoda Area sites is scheduled for November 3, 2021, from 6-8pm.  Please see Michigan.gov/MPARTevents for updates and information on how to register for future meetings.
    • Please see Michigan.gov/MPARTevents for updates and information on how to register for future meetings.