Skip to main content

Manistee Blacker Airport (Manistee, Manistee 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 July 2021.

EGLE Site Lead

Kaitlyn Bertram, or 231-429-1256.


The Manistee Blacker Airport (Airport) is a Federal Aviation Regulation Part 139 certified commercial service airport located at 2323 Airport Road.  In September 2020, the Michigan Department of Transportation awarded the Airport a grant to investigate the potential for PFAS contamination associated with Class B Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) used at the airport.  AFFF is known to contain PFAS compounds.  In November and December 2020, the Airport began its investigation.

Results of the investigation confirmed PFOA in the groundwater exceeded drinking water criteria at one sampling location.

During initial investigations, groundwater was encountered at various depths from 11 feet to be 18 feet below ground surface. Groundwater at the site was determined to flow to the south/south west towards the tributary of the Manistee River. Surface water samples collected from the tributaries were below water quality standards.

Manistee #10 Municipal Well and the Manistee Blacker Airport supply well are located on the site.  Both wells have been sampled and were below criteria.  The location of the residential wells near the site have been evaluated by EGLE, DHHS, and Local Health Department, and are upgradient and side gradient of the PFAS contamination. No residential well sampling is proposed at this time.

Manistee Blacker Airport map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On February 11, 2021, EGLE received the initial investigation Report for the Manistee Blacker Airport.
  • At the end of June 2021, the airport submitted a revised Phase II work plan.  EGLE is in the process of reviewing the plan.

Next Steps

  • In the Fall of 2021, additional monitoring wells will be installed to delineate the extent of PFOA in the groundwater.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • No sampling is planned at the present 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 - December 2020 4 1
Surface Water December 2020 8 0


*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

  • Only three permanent monitoring wells have been sampled at the site so far. The fourth groundwater sample indicated on the table above was taken from a temporary monitoring well. Two of the eight soil samples collected contained PFOS above the groundwater surface water interface protection criteria.  

Historical Timeline

    • In November and December 2020, the Airport's subcontractor, Limno Tech, collected eight soil samples and four groundwater samples on-site, and 8 surface water samples from a tributary of the Manistee River running adjacent to the airport. The results from groundwater sampling confirmed one monitoring well had PFOA contamination detected at 24.2 ppt, which exceeds the groundwater cleanup criteria.  No exceedances of criteria protective of surface water were documented in the groundwater or in surface water samples collected.