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Battle Creek Executive Airport (Battle Creek, Calhoun County)

EGLE Site Lead: Gregg Brettmann, BrettmannG@Michigan.gov or 269-567-3528. Webpage last updated April 28, 2022

Background

The Battle Creek Executive Airport, formerly known as W.K. Kellogg Airport, is located at 15551 South Airport Road, in Battle Creek. The W.K. Kellogg Airport officially opened in 1925 and was used by the military during World War II. The airport changed its name to Battle Creek Executive Airport (BCEA) at Kellogg Field in 2019. The airport is situated on a 1,260-acre site and is used as a joint civilian and military airport. The airport received a grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation in September 2020 to: investigate the potential release of PFAS to the environment from storage areas, plane crash areas, other release areas and nozzle testing areas; conduct PFAS sampling and analysis of soils, groundwater, and storm water; and provide a final report of findings.

Groundwater flow direction varies slightly but is predominantly to the northwest. Wetlands, and drainage ditches surround the Airport except on properties that have been developed. Several storm sewers also carry storm water from the Airport property to the adjacent wetlands which also has the potential to carry contaminants with it. These wetlands and comprise the headwaters for Helmer Creek which flows from the west side of the Airport to northeast and north of the Airport to the Kalamazoo River located approximately 1.5-miles to the north from the Airport. There is the potential for drinking water wells to exist even though municipal water is available in the area.

Battle Creek Executive Airport Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • Between May 24 and August 18, 2021, LimnoTech began the investigation of the Airport’s PFAS storage areas, potential release areas, plane crash areas, and nozzle testing areas. Work included installation of soil borings and the collection and analysis of soil samples, groundwater samples, and storm water samples.
  • In November 2021, EGLE received the Phase 1 report from the Airport investigation work showing six groundwater samples collected from soil borings exceeded generic cleanup criteria, the highest of which had 995 ppt PFOS (compared to 16 ppt), 135 ppt PFOA (compared to 8 ppt), 7.7 ppt PFNA (compared to 6 ppt), and 1,910 ppt PFHxS (compared to 51 ppt).
  • In January 2022, LimnoTech continued with a Phase II investigation at the Battle Creek Executive Airport into the PFAS areas of concern and installed some permanent monitoring wells. Additional groundwater samples and data were collected as part of this investigation.
  • In March 2022, EGLE received the Phase II Report for the continued response activities which confirmed exceedances of PFAS above the cleanup criteria in groundwater in three areas of concern on the Airport (non-military) property.

Next Steps

  • EGLE will review the data provided in the Phase II investigation report from LimnoTech. Following EGLE’s review, a meeting with the Airport and their consultant will be held to discuss any additional investigation work and sampling that may be needed.
  • A compliance communication letter will be prepared and sent to the City of Battle Creek requesting them to comply with the requirements of Part 201, Environmental Remediation of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA) and that as a liable party they have obligations to address the environmental contamination found on the Airport facility.

Residential Well / Alternative Water Information

  • Residential well sampling in the area was conducted in March 2018 by EGLE and in 2020 by DHHS, starting within a one-mile radius of the Airport. See the Helmer-Dickman Road Area of Interest page for details on the residential well sampling conducted in this area.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None planned at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled
(or range)

Number of Sample
Results Received

Number of Samples
above Criteria*

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

May – August 2021

43

12

Residential Wells

See Helmer-Dickman Road

0

0

Storm Water

May 2021 - Present

13

0

* Some Groundwater samples were collected from temporary monitoring wells.
* 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).
* Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.