Fairchild AFB continues groundwater sampling - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fairchild AFB continues groundwater sampling

Posted: Updated:
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center says it will continue sampling off-base wells of elevated levels of Perfluorooctanesulfonic (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acids (PFOA) to the north and south of Fairchild AFB, beginning on Monday.

Base officials will begin sampling about 50 residential wells for elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA. Sampling is expected to continue through next week.

The decision to continue this phase of sampling is a result of four out of seven northern border wells on base that were found to be above EPA health advisory levels. 

“We are working closely with our partners in Airways Heights to navigate this complex issue together,” said Marc Connally, remedial project manager of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Fairchild. “We make our decisions about areas to sample based upon three criteria: probability the Air Force mission was a source of contamination, our proximity to drinking water sources, and if there is a pathway between our installation and the water supply.”

Once the sampling is complete, the preliminary results will take 45 days to return to base officials, at which point, residents will be personally notified of their results. The validated results will come about a month after that, and will be mailed to impacted residents.

“Our goal from the onset of this has been transparency. Our communities deserve to know what we know because this is a concern to all of us,” said Col. Ryan Samuelson, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “We will continue to update the community as AFCEC releases information concerning groundwater sampling to keep our neighbors informed throughout this process.” 

Phase 1 of sampling included 23 private wells. Seventeen were above health advisory levels, one was below and five wells did not have any detectable PFOS/PFOA.

Phase 2 included four municipal wells, two monitoring wells and 28 residential wells. Two Airway Heights municipal wells and three residential wells were above the health advisory level. The other two municipal wells, as well as 20 residential wells, did not have any detectable levels of PFOS/PFOA. Five residential wells had detectable levels below the health advisory level.

All residents whose water supply had levels above the advisory levels were notified and provided bottled water immediately after preliminary results were received.

 For health and private well sampling information, concerned residents are encouraged to contact Fairchild Air Force Base Public Affairs at 509-247-5705.

More information on the Air Force’s proactive approach to environmental stewardship and PFOS/PFOA contaminant testing can be found here:

http://www.fairchild.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1054651/fairchild-proactively-pursuing-environmental-stewardship-through-air-force-init

http://www.afcec.af.mil/Home/Environment/Perfluorinated-Compounds/

https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfass-under-tsca

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