Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County

Last Updated: March 1, 2021

EGLE Site Lead:
Erica Bays
BaysE@Michigan.gov
269-350-0080

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport MapBackground:

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (Airport), located at 5235 Portage Road in Portage, is a certified commercial service airport that has Class B Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) to meet federal aviation requirements. AFFF is a firefighting foam that is known to contain PFAS compounds.

The Airport received grant funding from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to assess areas of historic AFFF storage and use. The Airport identified and investigated the soil and groundwater at six locations where AFFF was stored, used for testing, or deployed as a result of a plane crash.

The direction of groundwater flow at the site is generally to the north, northwest. There are approximately 30 residential drinking water, irrigation, or Type III wells located within close proximity to the Airport. EGLE, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department (KCHCSD), began sampling the private wells in July 2020. As a result, there was one residential drinking water well with PFAS exceeding criteria. All well owners have been notified of their sample results and the home with the criteria exceedance has been provided a water filter from the local health department. The location where PFAS was detected above criteria does not appear to be related to any of the investigation areas identified by the Airport. 

The City of Kalamazoo has two municipal well fields with associated pumping stations to the north of the Airport. The City has and continues to sample those wells for PFAS. There have been low level detections of multiple PFAS compounds, and the City has not utilized those wells since mid-2019.

There are six drainage ditches along the east side of the Airport site. All drainage flows to Davis Creek located to the east of the site near Kilgore Road. 

Recent Accomplishments:

  • In September 2020, the Airport received EGLE/MDOT Municipal Airport PFAS Grant funding to assess for PFAS.
  • On January 22, 2021, EGLE received the results of the Airport's Phase I Investigation that included collecting nine groundwater samples.  The highest result was 1,940 ppt PFOS.
  • On January 25, 2021, EGLE met with MDOT, KCHCSD, and the Airport to discuss the results and discuss the next steps in the investigation.

Next Steps:

  • The Airport is preparing a Work Plan for the next phase of the investigation which will be submitted to EGLE and MDOT for comment and approval prior to implementation. 
  • On February 8, 2021, EGLE will meet with MDOT, DHHS, KCHCSD, the City of Portage, and the City of Kalamazoo to discuss the results and proposed next steps as received from the Airport.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information:

  • In July 2020, due to the historical use of potentially PFAS containing AFFF at the airport and the presence of approximately 30 private water supply wells in relatively close proximity to the airport, EGLE, in coordination with DHHS and the KCHCSD, began sampling the wells.
  • Thus far, of the 21 private water supply wells that have been sampled there is one residential drinking water well with a detection of PFAS exceeding criteria. All well owners have been notified of their sample results and the home with the exceedance of criteria has been provided a water filter from the local health department.

Upcoming Community Engagement:

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above Criteria*

Residential Wells July 31, 2020 - January 12, 2021 21 1
Groundwater Monitoring Wells September 2019 - July 2020 9 7

 

* Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds effective 12/21/2020:  PFOS (16 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).

Sampling Notes:

  • None at this time.