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Ford Airport-Iron Mountain (Kingsford, Dickinson County)

Web content may not routinely be updated on this page. Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of the site.
Content posted June 2022.

EGLE Site Lead

Chris Austin, or 906-235-8039.


Ford Airport-Iron Mountain is located at 400 Riverhills Road.  Based on historical use of AFFF on the airport property, the airport received a grant in the fall of 2020 to conduct a PFAS investigation.  Sampling at the airport confirmed PFAS exceeded groundwater cleanup criteria at two locations: a former training area and where a plane crashed in 1980.  Follow-up investigation activities are being planned in 2022 to determine the nature and extent of the contamination. 

The Menominee River, and Cowboy Lake are the major downgradient water bodies in the area. During the 2021 investigation, surface water samples were collected from both water bodies for PFAS testing and the results were non-detect for PFAS. 

Ford Airport-Iron Mountain Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On June 22 & August 14, 2021, EGLE’s contractor, AECOM sampled a total of eleven private residential wells in the area immediately adjacent to the airport in the presumed direction of groundwater flow.
  • On June 22, 2021, EGLE’s contractor, AECOM sampled two surface water bodies in the presumed direction of groundwater flow (e.g., Menominee River and Cowboy Lake).
  • November 2021, the airport’s contractor, Prein & Newhof drilled eight soil borings on the airport property. Soil and groundwater samples were collected from each of the boring locations. The highest results were 40.3 ppt PFOA, 17.6 ppt PFOS, 8,390 ppt PFBS, and 9,140 ppt PFHxS.

Next Steps

  • The airport will implement their Phase II workplan for additional investigative activities in the summer of 2022.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will resample private residential wells in the area immediately west and southwest to the airport.

Residential Well Sampling / Alternative Water Information

  • Nineteen private drinking water wells were identified in the area immediately adjacent to the airport in the presumed direction of groundwater flow. Eleven of the residents elected to have their wells sampled for PFAS. Seven well were non-detect for PFAS and four of the samples had detections of PFAS below criteria.

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*

Monitoring Wells

November 9 - 14, 2021



Residential Wells

June 22, 2021 and August 11, 2021



Surface Water

June 22, 2021



* 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.

Sampling Notes

  • None at this time.