Chippewa County, Kinross Township, Kincheloe Air Force Base (KAFB)

Updated: January 13, 2020

BackgroundFormer Kincheloe AFB PFAS Investigation Area Map

The former KAFB covers 7,265 acres and consisted of airstrips, aircraft support and fueling facilities, fuel storage depots, command and control centers, training facilities, base housing and base landfills (e.g. Landfill 01). Starting in the early 1990s the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began investigating these areas, some of which are ongoing. During some of these investigations USACE discovered significant soil and groundwater contamination, and as a result, implemented several interim response actions. For example, in the mid-2000s USACE constructed new municipal drinking water wells and pump house for Kinross Township to replace municipal wells impacted or threatened by chlorinated volatile organic compounds detected in the groundwater.

EGLE recently detected PFAS in groundwater at three potential PFAS source areas: Landfill 01 (LF01) located at the north end of KAFB; a former fuel storage area just north of the airport terminal; and a fire training area at the south end of the airport runway.

Groundwater flow at the KAFB is primarily south/southeast, except for LF01where the groundwater appears to flow in several directions.

There are two watersheds within the KAFB boundary. The Waiska River which is north of LF01 and the Munuscong River which is hydraulically downgradient from the fuel storage area and the fire training area.

Recent Accomplishments

  • EGLE has requested USACE investigate apparent releases of PFAS from the KAFB LF01.  
  • EGLE sent 20 access agreement letters dated January 6, 2020, to local residents where private well water sampling for PFAS is proposed.

Next Steps

  • EGLE will confer with USACE about other confirmed areas (Fuel Storage Area and Fire Training Area) or potential PFAS source locations and USACE response actions for these locations.
  • Additional monitoring wells will be sampled in areas where PFAS contamination in groundwater has been detected. 
  • Monitoring wells will be sampled at KAFB Landfill 02. 

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • EGLE, in coordination with CCHD , has identified potential down-gradient private drinking water wells at risk for PFAS and plans to initiate sampling efforts January 16, 2020.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • A public meeting is scheduled for January 15th at the Kinross Township Hall starting at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the upcoming residential well sampling effort.
Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# of Results Received

# of Non-detects

# Between Non-detect and standard*

# > Standard

Monitoring Wells

Aug 2019 24 24 13 5 6

Cumulative

  24 24 13 5 6

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.

Sampling Notes

  • None at this time.

Former Kincheloe Air Force Base

The Department of Defense (DoD) acquired the Former Kincheloe Air Force Base (KAFB) in 1941 and operated it until1976. DoD officially closed KAFB in 1977.

In 1990 DoD identified the Former KAFB as a formerly use defense site (FUDS) property. As a FUDS property, DoD is responsible for environmental cleanup and restoration. The Army is the lead agency for the FUDS cleanup program; and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages the program on behalf of Army and DoD.

The KAFB covers 7,265 acres and consists of airstrips, aircraft support and fueling facilities, fuel storage depots, command and control centers, training facilities, base housing and base landfills (e.g. Landfill 01). Starting in the early 1990s USACE began investigating these areas, some of which are ongoing. During some of these investigations USACE discovered significant soil and groundwater contamination, and as a result, implemented several interim response actions. For example, in the mid-2000s USACE constructed new municipal drinking water wells and pump house for Kinross Township to replace municipal wells impacted or threatened by chlorinated volatile organic compounds detected in the groundwater.

Recently EGLE has detected PFAS in groundwater at three potential PFAS source areas: Landfill 01 located at the north end of the KAFB, a former fuel storage area just north of the airport terminal, and a fire training area at the south end of the airport runway.

Groundwater flow at the KAFB is primarily south/southeast, except for Landfill 01 where the groundwater appears to flow in several directions.

There are two watersheds within the KAFB boundary. The Waiska River which is north of Former LF01 and the Munuscong River which is hydraulically downgradient from the Former Fuel Storage Area and the Fire Training Area.

  • On August 5-9, 2019, EGLE’S contractor collected 24 groundwater samples from the Former KAFB.
  • On September 18, 2019, EGLE received the results from the August sampling event. The highest PFOS+PFOA result was 1,320 ppt, all of which was PFOA.
  • On October 11, 2019 EGLE notified USACE about EGLE detecting PFAS in groundwater samples from the Former KAFB.
  • On November 5, 2019, EGLE discussed groundwater analytical results and potential PFAS source areas with Kinross Township, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Chippewa County International Airport, Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD), and Chippewa County Board of Directors. 
  • On November 6, 2019, EGLE had a conference call with Chippewa County Health Department and other team members to determine residential well sampling locations.