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Oakland County International Airport (Waterford, Oakland County)

EGLE Site Lead: Kevin Wojciechowski, WojciechowskiK@Michigan.gov or 586-623-2948. Webpage last updated September 21, 2021.

Background

Oakland County International Airport, located at 6500 Highland Road, was originally developed for the city of Pontiac in 1930 and was later acquired by Oakland County in 1967.  In 1965, the airport received its first Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) truck that contained 400 gallons of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF).  Prior to 1996, the AFFF usage records were lost.  Between 1996 and 2019, AFFF was used in seven incidents, and in March of 2020 an accidental release of AFFF occurred during nozzle certification, all occurring on the airport property.  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 on the airport property. 

Shallow groundwater flows to the south and southeast.

Oakland County International Airport Monitor Well Locations map Oakland County International Airport groundwater surface elevation map

Recent Accomplishments

  • In May 2021, the consultant for the airport began the PFAS investigation collecting eight groundwater samples. 
  • On June 2, 2021, EGLE's contractor collected drinking water samples from 12 of the 24 homes and business identified during the first phase of residential well sampling.  PFAS was detected in 11 wells; only one well exceeded the PFOA criteria of 8 ppt with a detection of 10 ppt.  
  • On June 24, 2021, the airport's consultant submitted the results from the groundwater investigation that began in April.  Six of the eight samples collected exceeded groundwater clean-up criteria for PFAS.  The highest result was 4,800 ppt for PFOS.
  • On August 5, 2021, EGLE's contractor collected 16 of 18 homes targeted during the second phase of residential well sampling. All 16 of the sampled wells had detections of PFAS with five wells exceeding criteria.

Next Steps

  • The airport's consultant will continue to investigate onsite PFAS groundwater and surface water contamination on the airport property.
  • Based on the second round of residential water well results, a third round of water well sampling will be conducted.  EGLE is working with MDHHS and Oakland County Health Department to determine which residential wells will be included in the third round.

Residential Well/Alternate Water

  • EGLE identified an initial 24 residential/commercial drinking water wells to be sampled around the airport.  Of the 24 wells identified, 12 residential homes all located north of the airport signed access agreements and were sampled by an EGLE contractor on June 2, 2021.  PFAS was detected in 11 of the 12 wells, and sample results from one well exceeded the PFOA criteria with a detection of 10 ppt.  
  • DHHS identified an additional 18 homes north of the previously sampled homes to be sampled for PFAS.  On August 5, 2021, 16 of the 18 identified wells were sampled for PFAS by the EGLE contractor.  All 16 of the sampled wells had detections of PFAS with five wells exceeding criteria.
  • Waterford Township does have city water pipes located along most, if not all the residential roads north of the airport.  Most homes in the area are already connected to city water.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • EGLE will host a virtual townhall meeting to discuss the current results in September.  When the date has been determined, meeting details will be posted to the Michigan.gov/MPARTEvents calendar.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or Range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above Criteria*

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

May 5, 2021 8 6
Residential Wells June 2021 - Present 28 6
*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.