Delta County, Escanaba, Escanaba Defense Fuel Supply Point

Updated: July 17, 2020

Background

MAP Escanaba This site is located on the Little Bay de Noc shoreline and was a bulk fuel storage facility that supplied jet fuel to the former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in Gwinn via pipeline. The PFAS contamination at the site first came to the Michigan Department of Enviroment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)'s attention in April 2014.

Recent Accomplishments
  • On May 14, 2020, the Final Second Five-Year Review Report was issued by the Air Force without an appropriate response to EGLE’s comments on the draft Report.
  • On July 7, 2020, EGLE sent notice to the Air Force that the Final Second Five-Year Review was not done correctly and that the remedy at the site was not protective of human health and the environment.

Next Steps

  • EGLE is evaluating next steps, however, the United States Air Force is without funds for this site.
  • This summer (2020) EGLE and MDHHS will perform fish tissue sampling in Little Bay de Noc offshore of the site, to determine if there is impact to the fish population in the area by PFAS.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • There is no known impact to drinking water.
  • All residential well testing reflected on this report has been conducted by EGLE.
  • Residential well testing is off-base.
  • For additional information on residential well testing and results, visit the Frequently Asked Questions.
  • EGLE has sampled all municipal water supplies for PFAS. View the results for the city of Escanaba here.

Upcoming Community Engagement

None scheduled at this time.

Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# of Results Received

# of Non-detects

# Between Non-detect and standard*

# > Standard

Drinking Water (Residential) Jul 19, 2018 -
Jul 19, 2018
7 7 7 0 0

Groundwater

Jul 19, 2018 -
Jul 19, 2018
6 6 0 0 6
Surface Water Jul 19, 2018 -
Jul 19, 2018
5 5 0 0 5
Cumulative   18 18 7 0 11

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

Sampling notes

  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.
  • Surface water samples are from Little Bay de Noc.
  • Groundwater monitoring well results are from on-base wells.

Historical Timeline

The Escanaba DFSP is located on the Little Bay de Noc shoreline and was a bulk fuel storage facility that supplied jet fuel to the former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in Gwinn via pipeline. The PFAS contamination at the site first came to the the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)'s attention in April 2014.

  • Between 2015 and 2016, the EGLE approved work plans for site assessment activities, coordinated local communications, and reviewed the completed site assessment.
  • In 2015 soil and groundwater samples were collected.From 2015 to 2016, seven residential wells were sampled.
  • All seven residential wells were non-detect.
  • Surface water and sediment samples were collected in 2017. Surface water sample results were above water quality standards for PFOS and the LHA for drinking water for combined PFOS and PFOA.
  • According to a December 2, 2017 article in the Escanaba Daily Press, the Hannahville Native American Nation purchased the property and is considering redevelopment of the property.The Hannahville Native American Nation is aware of the PFAS contamination at the site according to EGLE Remediation and Redevelopment Division district staff.
  • Dave Anthony is the Governmental Affairs Representative for the Hannahville Native American Nation.
  • On February 14, 2019, a Base Closure Team Meeting was held between EGLE and the USAF.
  • On April 11, 2019, there was a Base Closure Team Meeting held between EGLE and Air Force.
  • On May 16, 2019, EGLE received a letter from the Air Force stating that the Air Force would not consider Michigan's PFOS and PFOA criteria as part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Five-Year Review process for remedies in place at the site.
  • On July 9, 2019, there was a Base Closure Team Meeting held between EGLE and Air Force.
  • In an October 9, 2019 letter, the Air Force informed EGLE that they would not evaluate the protectiveness of the current remedy for PFAS contamination in the five-year review they just completed despite exceedances of Michigan health-based Part 201 criteria for both PFOS and PFOA.  Because there are exceedances of PFOS GSI criteria in groundwater and Ambient Water Quality Standards in surface water, human exposure to high level PFAS contamination is possible through fish consumption, as the area is heavily fished. DHHS and EGLE are working out logistics for fish sampling.
  • On September 6, 2019, EGLE sent the Air Force a letter regarding the five-year review required by CERCLA and the fact that the Air Force did not consider PFAS contamination in the review. The Air Force responded on October 9, 2019 stating that in the five-year review they would not take into consideration whether the current remedy was protective of human health.
  • On October 17, 2019, a joint site inspection was held by the Air Force and EGLE staff to ensure deed restrictions on the site were being followed.
  • On October 17, 2019, a land use control inspection was completed to ensure deed restrictions on the site were being followed.  There was a discussion of the fact that citizens were fishing the PFAS impacted surface water just off the site and off the pier at the site. There is concern that fishing is a possible route of human exposure to PFAS from the site.  Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and EGLE are working out logistics for fish sampling.
  • On May 14, 2020, the Air Force issued a Final Five-Year Review Report that does not appropriately address the comments provided by EGLE on the draft Report.  The Air Force failed to account for the potential risks to human health, welfare and the environment associated with PFAS contamination released into the groundwater and the surface water.