Groundwater Workgroup

an icon of the outline of a water pump with water coming out

Mission:

To determine the nature and extent of PFAS contamination at sites where groundwater is known or suspected to be contaminated. Oversee responsible parties or obtain state funds to conduct investigation of exposure.

This workgroup consists of staff from Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. 

Recent Accomplishments:

  • The workgroup continues to do research into sources of PFAS contamination to groundwater across Michigan.  Sources may include manufacturing, airports, landfills, aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) use, and commercial use of PFAS containing products.

Next Steps:

  • Staff will continue to look for sources of PFAS in rural public drinking water wells where detections have occurred.
  • The workgroup will continue to use student interns to determine potential sources and locations of PFAS (i.e. old EGLE, Remediation and Redevelopment Division (RRD) Part 307 lists of contaminated sites).  Students are a valuable resource in doing research because they are skilled in using the internet and various search engines.

Reports:

  • Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid (PFBS) Chemistry, Production, Uses, and Environmental Fate in Michigan - This study was commissioned by MPART to look at PFBS chemistry, uses, and sources after many wells in the state-wide municipal water study were found to contain PFBS, and in some cases, it was the only PFAS compound found.  The study looked at PFBS detections in the public water supplies in order to potentially identify any PFAS sources, and whether they could be associated with any industry or consumer products; view the full Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid (PFBS) Chemistry, Production, Uses, and Environmental Fate in Michigan report. 

Research/Studies:

  • container of Skydrol, a component in civilian aircraft hydraulic fluidPFAS Groundwater Study - The study evaluated monitor well groundwater data compared to residential drinking water data after EGLE RRD staff raised questions on the apparent differences in results.  The study used data from three separate study areas: Grayling Area PFAS (Crawford County, MI), the North Kent Area PFAS (Kent County, MI), and North 34th Street, former Production Plated Plastics, PFAS site (Kalamazoo County, MI).  The primary objectives of the study were to determine if data collected during groundwater investigations accurately reflect PFAS footprint, plume behavior, aquifer conditions, drinking water risks, and to determine if PFAS compounds behave differently than traditional (solvents, petroleum, etc.) contaminants of concern; read the full PFAS Groundwater Study Report.
  • PFECHS (perfluoro-4-ethylcyclohexanesulfonate) - At the request of the MPART Citizen’s Advisory Workgroup (CAWG), a literature search was done for this PFAS compound.  PFECHS is a PFAS compound that has come to light as a contaminant in the Great Lakes and Great Lakes fish.  The compound is a component in civilian aircraft hydraulic fluid (Skydrol® and others) and is used as an anti-erosion (anti-wear) agent and for fire resistance.  It does not appear to have been used in military aircraft.  A summary will be presented to the CAWG in the spring 2020. In addition, the Human Health Workgroup conducted a literature search on the toxicological information about this chemical and generated the Current Knowledge of Physiochemical Properties, Environmental Contamination and Toxicity Whitepaper.  The MDHHS lab is validating a method to analyze for PFECHS in various media, including water and tissue.

Timeline of Accomplishments:

  • On July 26, 2019 the PFBS Chemistry, Production, Uses and Environmental Fate study was completed.
  • On August 13, 2019, the workgroup reviewed septic tank and PFAS in groundwater information.
  • On December 11, 2019, the PFAS Groundwater Study was completed.
  • Literature searches were developed as needed and will continue to be developed as new questions arise.

Workgroup Lead Name and Email:

Abigail Hendershott, EGLE Remediation and Redevelopment Division
HendershottA@Michigan.gov

Updated September 24, 2020