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MBS International Airport Area of Interest (Freeland, Saginaw County)

EGLE Site Lead: Andrea Zuidema, ZuidemaA1@Michigan.gov or 989-297-3005. Webpage last updated July 12, 2021.

Background

The MBS International Airport located at 8500 Garfield Road, was awarded a PFAS grant from MDOT to determine the potential impact of PFAS from the use of AFFF at the airport.  The airport had two historical known areas where AFFF was used.  Approximately 50 gallons of AFFF was used in training exercises that took place along the old runway.  In 1992 there was a plane crash that occurred on the concrete area near the new terminal, and 200-300 gallons of AFFF was used.  The results from the initial investigation showed PFAS in North Squaconning Creek above water quality standards at 173 ppt for PFOS.  EGLE's surface water sampling results showed PFAS in two drains connected to the airport above water quality standards.

The regional groundwater flow was inferred to be to the northeast.  Potentially impacted waterbodies are the North Branch Squaconning Creek and the West Branch Squaconning Creek, both which flow into the Saginaw River.  A potential receptor in the area is the Twin Oaks Golf Course that uses surface water from the West Branch Squaconning Creek to water their greens.  

MBS International Airport Area of Interest map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On October 27 - November 1, 2020, the airport collected three groundwater samples from deep monitoring wells and collected one surface water sample from an outfall discharging to North Squaconning Creek on the northeast side of the airport property.
  • On March 15, 2021, EGLE received sampling results from the airport.  The three groundwater samples were non-detect for PFAS and the surface water sample was above water quality standards at 173 ppt for PFOS.
  • In March 2021, EGLE collected 13 surface water samples near the airport.  Two samples that were collected downstream from the airport outfalls exceeded surface water quality standards for PFOS; the results were 45.7 ppt and 37.3 ppt.
  • On June 24, 2021, EGLE sampled four residential wells in the area out of abundance of caution; the results were all non-detect for PFAS.
  • On June 30, 2021, MPART hosted a call with local officials to brief them on the PFAS investigation at this site and the anticipated next steps.

Next Steps

  • EGLE will work with the airport to determine further investigation.  

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • Four residential wells were sampled on June 24, 2021; the results were all non-detect for PFAS. 

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

October 27 - November 1, 2020 3 0
 Residential Wells June 2021 4 0
Surface Water  November 2020 - March 2021 14 3
* 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

  • Surface water samples indicated on the chart include the airport and EGLE's sampling results.