Air Force PFOS/PFOA sampling effort seeks well owner input

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- As drinking water sampling for Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) continues, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center has expanded the current sampling area and is asking for help to identify drinking water wells for potential sampling beginning next week.

The Air Force is planning to sample approximately 30 more wells, including wells between the sampling area immediately northwest of the phase three sampling area, which was north of the base, and east to the City of Airway Heights, where sampling is taking place roughly one mile south and two miles north of Highway 2.

Well owners in the current sampling area who have not been contacted for permission to sample their wells are asked to call the 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Office at 509-247-5705 or 92arw.pa@us.af.mil. A map of the current sampling area has been published at www.fairchild.af.mil.

“We are continuing to try to identify the private well owners within the current sampling area,” said Marc Connally, AFCEC remedial project manager. “We want to ensure to be as thorough as possible as the sampling area is modified to include water testing for more community members.”

So far in the current sampling area, the Air Force has sampled 98 wells to determine if PFOS/PFOA is present in drinking water supplies at levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion. Of those, 55 wells did not have detectable levels of PFOS/PFOA, 29 had PFOA/PFOS at levels below the HA, and 14 were found to have PFOS/PFOA concentrations above the EPA HA. The Air Force is currently providing alternative drinking water sources for residents who use those wells.

PFOS/PFOA are classified by the EPA as unregulated emerging contaminants and are present in common household items and heat and fire resistant products. The EPA issued updated PFOS/PFOA lifetime HA levels in May of 2016.

Information about the Air Force’s environmental stewardship programs and PFOS/PFOA contaminant testing can be found on Fairchild’s website at www.fairchild.af.mil/PFOS-PFOA-INFO.

Please direct all other questions or concerns to Fairchild’s Public Affairs office.