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Camp Grayling - Lake Margrethe (Grayling, Crawford County)

EGLE Site Lead: Christiaan Bon, BonC@Michigan.gov or 989-370-9624. Webpage last updated: April 21, 2022

Background

Camp Grayling Cantonment is located on the south end of Lake Margrethe. The Army National Guard (ARNG) used and stored aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) at the facility. Lake Margrethe is used recreationally and is surrounded by residential properties.

Site Maps

Recent Accomplishments

  • On December 7, 2021, DMVA sent results of a Short-Term Storm Water Characterization Study. Two discharge locations of the storm water system exceeded surface water criteria for PFOS (12 ppt). The highest result was 439 ppt. Results had previously been shared at the September 9, 2021, Town Hall.
  • On February 1, 2022, a Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting was held. DMVA presented an update to the Short-Term Storm Water Characterization Study.
  • On February 1 - 2, 2022, EGLE’s contractor, AECOM collected groundwater samples from existing monitoring wells.
  • On April 21, 2022, a RAB Meeting was held. Agencies gave updates and ARNG discussed upcoming investigation work for 2022.

Next Steps

  • EGLE’s contractor, AECOM, will continue to monitor new residential sampling requests and call residents to set up sampling dates and times as directed by EGLE.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • MDHHS will be re-testing residential drinking water wells near the Grayling Army Airfield, Lake Margrethe, and Maneuver and Training Equipment Site (MATES) at Range 30 for PFAS. The testing will help MDHHS determine if there are changes to levels of PFAS in residents’ drinking water. There is no charge for the testing.
  • Households with detections have been provided filters and replacement cartridges by District Health Department #10.
  • All residential well testing reflected on this report has been conducted by EGLE.

Military Update

  • The Remedial Investigation of soil and groundwater is underway in the cantonment area (south end of Lake Margarethe).

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • On May 10, 2022, a Camp Grayling PFAS Town Hall will be held at Kirtland Community College from 6-8 p.m. The event details are posted on the MPART Public Meeting Calendar at Michigan.gov/MPARTevents.
  • Camp Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting are scheduled every couple of months. The event details are posted on the MPART Public Meeting Calendar at Michigan.gov/MPARTevents.
  • Visit the Camp Grayling RAB Website for additional information. 

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled
(or range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above
Criteria*

Drinking Water (Residential)

Through February 28, 2022 513 11
Groundwater Through February 28, 2022
250 133
Surface Water Through February 28, 2022 35 5

*Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria for 7 PFAS compounds: PFOS (16 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).
*
Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.  

Sampling Notes

  • On August 3, 2020, new Part 201 Criteria went into effect.  Historical sampling data compared to Part 201 Criteria >70 is captured in the historical timeline below.
  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.
  • All sample counts and activities reflect "off-base" sampling efforts only.
  • Surface water foam samples have been collected from Lake Margrethe between October 2017 and August 2018; results range from 1,580 - 40,276 ppt Total PFAS.

Reports

Foam on Lake Margrethe

EGLE has tested foam on the surface of Lake Margrethe. The results found elevated levels of PFAS in some of the lake foam. While most shoreline foam is naturally occurring and typically has a brown tint, the foam tested on Lake Margrethe was bright white and sudsy, which is what prompts testing by EGLE. EGLE is diligently working to determine a source for the PFAS in the lake and the potential impact to residents.

Skin contact with the foam is not considered harmful. As a precaution, District Health Department #10 recommends that swallowing foam or lake water be avoided. Additionally, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued Eat Safe Fish guidelines for fish caught from Lake Margrethe and the Au Sable River upstream of the Mio Dam as they relate to PFOS, mercury, and more. View more details about the Eat Safe Fish guidelines.

Historical Timeline

    • In October 2017, EGLE received a picture and video of foam at Lake Margrethe from a part-time resident.
    • In October 2017, EGLE responded to the October 2017 information by collecting four surface water samples, three foam samples, one residential well sample, and a hand pump well sample at the state forest campground.
      • Foam sample results ranged from 2,341 ppt to 24,810 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
      • The residential well sample was non-detect for PFOS+PFOA, as was the sample form the hand pump well at the state forest campground.
    • On November 27, 2017, EGLE hosted a public meeting for the community. One conference call has been held with local stakeholders.
    • On May 29, 2018, EGLE hosted a meeting to update local officials on the status of the investigation.
    • On June 5, 2018, EGLE hosted a public meeting for the community.
    • On July 21, 2018, EGLE, Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and District Health Department #10 attended the Lake Margrethe Property Owners Association meeting at Grayling Township Hall.
    • Between August 6 and 23, 2018, 14 monitoring wells were installed at five locations on the southeast side of Lake Margrethe. Data has been received by EGLE and maps were developed, and next steps determined.
    • On September 18 and 19, 2018, EGLE used a drone equipped with an infrared camera to locate potential springs and groundwater seeps entering the lake.
    • On October 8 and 9, 2018, the drone was flown again to verify seeps and collect surface water and pore water samples. Pore water is locations where groundwater enters from the bottom of the lake. Nine pore water and seven surface water sample were collected. Currently, data is being evaluated and mapped so next steps can be determined. A technical report will be generated in March 2019
    • On December 11, 2018, an open house and public meeting were held.
    • On February 15, 2019, AECOM completed the 2nd round of RI groundwater monitoring.
    • On April 5, 2019, AECOM submitted the Remedial Investigation (RI) Report.
    • On June 4-5, 2019 EGLE resampled pore water, as well as sediment and surface water, from groundwater seeps at Lake Margrethe.
    • On June 5, 2019, there was a Restoration Advisory Board community meeting for the Grayling Area to learn about the RAB process, how a RAB functions, and the change to fill out a Community Member Interest Form. Applications were due by June 10 and the first RAB meeting will be announced this coming week.
    • A Tech Memo summarizing EGLE's offsite investigation results has been posted to the MPART website.
    • The Army National Guard hosted an open public meeting from 7:30-8:30 on June 25, 2019 at Kirtland Community College, 4800 W 4 Mile Rd, Grayling, to discuss plans to provide alternative drinking water to property owners with wells over 70 ppt of PFOA and PFOS.
    • EGLE held a Town Hall PFAS Informational Meeting on August 1, 2019 at Kirtland Community College to present results of recent environmental investigations. 
    • On July 31, 2019, the first meeting of the Camp Grayling Restoration Advisory Board was held from 10:00am - 12:00pm at Kirtland Community College - Grayling Campus, 4800 W 4 Mile Road, Grayling MI 49738. It included the organization of the new Restoration Advisory Board and other set-up functions. This meeting was open to the public.
    • On July 31, 2019, there was an Interoffice Communication from EGLE Eustice to EGLE Bon re: Camp Grayling Lake Margrethe Sampling Data Package.
    • On August 1, 2019, a Town Hall PFAS Informational Meeting was held at Kirtland Community College, 4800 W 4 Mile Rd, Grayling. An open house was from 4:30-6:00 pm, followed by a presentation of recent investigations from 6:00-7:30.
    • A Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting was held on October 7, 2019. The meeting focused primarily on developing RAB meeting operating procedures. Updates on progress were given by the DMVA, DNR, and EGLE. A presentation on regional hydrogeology was also given by EGLE.
    • On October 2, 2019, one foam sample was collected near the DNR boat launch.
    • Phase II of the Remedial Investigation was completed on October 8, 2019.
    • On November 6, 2019, a Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting was held. The meeting focused primarily on finalizing RAB meeting operating procedures and RAB communication with the public. Progress updates were given by the DMVA and EGLE. A presentation on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) process was given by DMVA. 
    • On December 11, 2019, a Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting was held. Progress updates were given by the DMVA and EGLE. A presentation on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) process was given by DMVA. Eric Keller, Regional Director for Senator Gary Peters, gave an update on PFAS at the federal level.
    • On December 12, 2019, AECOM completed the fourth quarterly groundwater sampling event.
    • On January 13, 2020, a Camp Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting was held. Progress updates were given by DMVA, EGLE and DHHS. Sesha Kallakuri (MDHHS) gave a presentation on risk assessment and DHHS Drinking Water Screening Levels. The RAB members continued to develop their outreach and communications plans.
    • On February 20, 2020, a Camp Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meeting was held. Progress updates were given by DMVA, EGLE and DHHS. Recent and future RAB outreach was discussed and the final RAB brochure was released.
    • On March 31, 2020 AECOM completed Phase II quarterly monitoring well sampling.
    • On February 26-27, 2020, AECOM collected two residential well samples.
    • On March 31, 2020 AECOM completed Phase II quarterly monitoring well sampling.
    • On May 27, 2020, a virtual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was held. Progress updates were given by DMVA, DHHS, and EGLE. On June 15, 2020, AECOM completed the June 2020 quarterly groundwater sampling event.
    • July 22, 2020, a Camp Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Virtual Meeting was held. Updates were given by DMVA, DHHS, and EGLE.

    Historical Sampling Chart
    Data is reflective of criteria prior to 8/3/2020
    PFOS + PFOA Only
    This chart reflects data received prior to 8/3/2020.

    Type of Sample

    Date Sampled

    Number of Samples

    Number of Results Received

    Number of Non-detects

    Number Between Non-detect and Standard*

    Number of > Standard*

    Drinking water (residential, Type I & II)

    Through

    July 7, 2020

    501

    497

    434

    61

    2

    Groundwater

    Through

    July 7, 2020

    146

    120

    40

    55

    25

    Surface Water

    Through

    July 7, 2020

    16

    16

    0

    14

    2

    Cumulative

     

    663

    633

    474

    130

    29

    *Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
    Residential well results are compared to the EPA LHA of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
    *Surface water results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.
     
    • On September 24, 2020, a virtual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was held. Progress updates were given by DMVA, DHHS, and EGLE.
    • On September 30, 2020, AECOM completed the September 2020 quarterly groundwater sampling event.
    • On October 5, 2020, DHHS finished the first round of drinking water well resampling.
    • On December 1, 2020, a virtual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was held. Progress updates were given by the Army National Guard, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
    • On January 5-7, 2021, AECOM completed a quarterly groundwater sampling event.
    • On January 28, 2021, a virtual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was held. Progress updates were given by the Army National Guard, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
    • On March 26, 2021, a virtual Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was held. Progress updates were given by the Army National Guard, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
    • On March 17, 2021, DHHS mailed the first round of drinking water well resampling results to well owners.
    • On March 29-31, 2021, AECOM completed a quarterly groundwater sampling event. 
    • On April 26, 2021, a virtual town hall for Camp Grayling PFAS sites was held. The purpose of this online public meeting was to update the community about the on-going PFAS investigations and drinking water well resampling efforts.
    • On May 11, 2021, The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that a second round of resampling of residential drinking water wells would begin.
    • On June 9, 2021, a Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting was held.
    • On August 20, 2021, EGLE’s contractor finished sampling of pore and surface water at Lake Margrethe. Results will be shared when available. 
    • On August 25, 2021, a Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting was held.
    • On August 26, 2021, EGLE sent a Compliance Communication regarding wastewater sampling at the Cantonment wastewater treatment plant.
    • On September 9, 2021, MPART hosted a virtual town hall. Updates were presented by Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Department of Military and Veteran Affairs (DMVA), and Army National Guard (ARNG).
    • On October 29, 2021, DMVA sent a response to EGLE's August 26, 2021, Compliance Communication regarding wastewater sampling at the Cantonment wastewater treatment plant.
    • On November 2, 2021, a Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting was held. EGLE's Lake Margrethe surface and pore water sampling results from August 2021 were presented. DMVA/ARNG gave updates on cantonment wastewater and storm water sampling. DHHS gave an update on residential resampling.