Fairchild notifies affected residents of off-base water-well sampling preliminary results
By Public Affairs Office, 92nd Air Refueling Wing
/ Published April 28, 2017
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Base officials began conducting face-to-face notifications today to inform residents living near Fairchild AFB if their water wells were found to have Perfluorooctanesulfonic (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acids (PFOA) concentrations above Environmental Protection Agency lifetime Health Advisory (HA) levels based on the preliminary results of recent sampling.
Sixteen wells were found to have PFOS/PFOA concentrations above the EPA lifetime HA levels. Affected residents were given the option to immediately begin receiving bottled drinking water from the Air Force until a long-term solution is implemented to provide them with clean drinking water.
One well was found to have PFOS/PFOA concentrations, but below the EPA HA levels. With owner permission, the Air Force will continue to monitor this well to ensure the PFOS/PFOA levels remain below the HA. Five wells did not have any detectable PFOS/PFOA.
The results for one well are still pending, but are expected within the next one to two business days. Base officials will notify the remaining well owner when those results are released.
Residents were initially notified of the potential for PFOS/PFOA contamination and the Air Force’s request to sample their private water wells earlier this month. Base officials conducted sampling of the 23 private wells immediately adjacent to the eastern border of the installation after on-base testing near the fence line revealed concentrations above the EPA lifetime HA levels.
PFOS/PFOAs are classified by the EPA as “emerging contaminants” and are present in common household items and heat and fire resistant products, including aqueous film forming foam formulations that were used by the Air Force in fire trucks from 1970-2016, including here at Fairchild AFB. The EPA issued updated PFOS/PFOA lifetime health advisory levels in May of 2016.
The Air Force looks to the EPA for standards and guidance on environmental issues, and will continue to take proactive steps to protect communities from negative impacts from mission areas.
“Our goal throughout this process has been, and will continue to be, transparency with our neighbors and community partners,” said Col. Matthew Fritz, 92nd Air Refueling Wing vice commander. “We will work together to take care of our community and the environment while continuing our mission to provide Global Reach for our nation.”