United States Coast Guard Air Station, Traverse City, Grand Traverse County

United States Coast Guard Air Station PFAS Results MapLast Updated: April 27, 2021

EGLE Site Lead:
Ann Emington
EmingtonA@Michigan.gov
231-429-1395

Background:

The United State Coast Guard (USCG) Air Station is located at 1169 Airport Access Road in Traverse City.  It has Class B Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), which is a firefighting foam that is known to contain per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

The USCG investigated soil and groundwater at various locations where AFFF was stored, used for testing and an area where a release occurred.  Soil and groundwater contamination were identified in the retention pond area and beneath the tarmac.  Groundwater contamination was also found downgradient of the oil/water separator system and upgradient of the USCG sources.  PFAS results are above surface water and drinking water criteria.

The direction of groundwater flow at the site is generally to the northeast. There were 18 residential drinking water wells located within close proximity to the USCG. EGLE, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD), began sampling the private wells in November 2020. Nine of the 18 residential drinking water wells sampled contained PFAS exceeding the drinking water criteria.  The other nine residential drinking water wells contained PFAS but all were below criteria.  All residential drinking water well owners were notified of their sample results and provided water filters or bottled water from the GTCHD. Connection of the 18 residential drinking water wells to the East Bay Township municipal water system occurred from March 1, 2021 through March 19, 2021 through a $150,000 grant secured through EGLE and $85,000 from Grand Traverse County.

PFAS above criteria were found in a groundwater sample taken from a residential well located 280 feet from East Grand Traverse Bay.  Additional investigation is necessary to assess the risks to East Grand Traverse Bay.

Recent Accomplishments:

  • A meeting was held on April 9, 2021 with the USCG, Cherry Capital Airport (Airport), MDOT, GTCHD and EGLE to discuss the results and the next steps in the investigation.
  • On April 12, 2021 EGLE received the Final Focused Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation Report from the USCG.  PFAS were found in soil and groundwater near source areas identified by the USCG.  The highest levels of PFAS in groundwater were: PFOA at 250 ppt; PFOS at 2100 ppt; PFNA at 23 ppt; and PFHxS at 330 ppt. The highest levels of PFAS in soil were: PFOS at 7.0 ppb.  The report recommended additional work to define the extent of the contamination.
  • On April 14, 2021 MPART hosted a community meeting about the PFAS investigations at the Airport and the USCG Station and the status of the municipal water connections and well abandonments at the Pine Grove Subdivision.  

Next Steps:

  • On April 23, 2021, EGLE received a response from the USCG to a compliance communication sent on March 26, 2021.  The USCG indicated that they will voluntarily pursue actions to define the extent of the contamination and assess the risks to public health and the environment.   The USCG presented a work plan and schedule for these activities.  The proposed field work is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information:

  • On October 21, 2020, bottled water was provided to 18 residential well owners due to PFAS groundwater contamination identified along Parsons Avenue.
  • November 4 and 5, 2020, EGLE, in coordination with DHHS and the GTCHD, began sampling the residential wells.
  • On November 13, 2020, EGLE was informed that nine of the 18 residential drinking water wells had PFAS above drinking water criteria. The other 9 residential drinking water wells contained PFAS but all were below criteria.  All residential drinking well owners were notified of their sample results and provided water filters or water coolers from the GTCHD during the first 2 weeks of December.
  • Connection of the 18 residential drinking water wells to the East Bay Township municipal water system occurred from March 1, 2021 through March 19, 2021, through a $150,000 grant secured through EGLE and $85,000 from Grand Traverse County.

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 Nov 2020 - Dec 2020 18 9
Groundwater Monitoring Wells Dec 2020 47 30

 

*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:

  • Retention pond water samples were taken and referred to as surface water samples, however, the retention pond is not connected to a surface water body.  It is a groundwater discharge. The samples were above criteria.  They are not reflected in the table above.

Historical Timeline:

  • All 18 residential wells were connected to East Bay Township municipal water and residential wells were abandoned from March 1 through March 19, 2021 using the $150,000 EGLE grant and the $85,000 provided by Grand Traverse County
  • On March 23, 2021, EGLE sent the USCG a compliance communication notifying it of its obligations to define the extent of contamination and take corrective actions as necessary to protect the public health and environment.  A response was requested by April 23, 2021.
  • On March 26, 2021, the USCG submitted a Final Draft Combined Focused Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation Report documenting the remedial investigation, which included results of a file review for potential source areas and soil and groundwater sample results. PFAS were found in soil and groundwater above criteria.  The report also identified the need for further remedial investigation to define the nature and extent of the PFAS detected in the soil and groundwater.