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Delta County Airport (Escanaba, Delta County)

EGLE Site Lead: Elizabeth Goetz, GoetzE@Michigan.gov or 906-235-0002. Webpage last updated April 16, 2021.

Background

Delta County Airport, located at 3300 Airport Road, is a county-owned, public-use airport located southwest of the central business district of Escanaba. The airport is a current Federal Aviation Regulation Part 139 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 offers commercial air service to Detroit, Michigan and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Delta County Airport received PFAS grant funding in September 2020 from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to assess areas of historic AFFF storage and use.  The airport investigated soil at and groundwater at three locations on the airport property. 

Groundwater flow is towards Portage Bay of Lake Michigan.  Portage Creek flows through the airport property and discharges into the Portage Bay.

Delta County Airport Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On April 20, 2021, EGLE received results from the residential well sampling.
    • 10 residential wells were sampled, including a dog park well located on Airport Road.
    • The dog park well had detections in PFOS above EGLE's drinking water criteria. PFOS in the dog park well was measured at 19 parts per trillion (ppt) and the drinking water criteria for PFOS is 16 ppt. The dog park well has been deemed unfit for use by the Local Health Department; signage has been placed notifying the public.
    • Detections of PFAS compounds were detected in one (1) additional residential drinking water well but were well below the criteria for those compounds.

Next Steps

  • Delta County Airport is conducting Phase II Site Assessment activities and will submit a Phase II Site Assessment for EGLE and MDOT review.
  • EGLE is planning to collect fish samples from Little Bay De Noc in 2021.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • EGLE, MDHHS, and the Local Health Department evaluated local well records to determine the scope of residential well sampling.  Residential well sampling included 10 residential wells and a nearby dog park.
  • No additional residential well testing is being proposed at this time.

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*

Groundwater Monitoring Wells November 2020 5 2
*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.

Historical Timeline

    • On November 10 and 11, 2020, the airport contractors began Phase I of the investigation which included the installation of three monitoring wells on-site for groundwater sampling. 
    • On January 20, 2021, EGLE received the Phase I investigation report.  Of the five groundwater samples collected two exceeded criteria for PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, and PFHxS.  The highest result was 15,900 ppt PFOS.  Three of the five samples collected exceed the groundwater surface water interface (GSI) criteria of 12 ppt for PFOS.
    • On February 4, 2021, EGLE met with the airport and their contractors, MDOT, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to discuss the findings of the Phase I Investigation report and discuss next steps.
    • On March 18, 2021, MPART hosted a town hall to provide the community information regarding the PFAS investigation at this site.
    • On April 6, 2021, EGLE's contractor began residential well sampling.