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Some levels of PFAS found in Negaunee Township; most not dangerous

Behind the now decommissioned Marquette County Airport, just yards away, are residential homes with PFAS in its water.
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 4:41 PM EDT
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NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Some levels of PFAS has been found at homes surrounding the former Marquette County Airport. However, most of the chemical is not considered to be at dangerous levels.

In May, the Marquette County Health Department, state health department and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) tested for PFAS at private drinking wells in Negaunee Township.

Now, those results are coming to light through a Freedom of Information Act request. TV6 & FOX UP has now obtained the results of an ongoing PFAS investigation in Negaunee Township.

Behind the now decommissioned Marquette County Airport, just yards away, are residential homes some with PFAS in its water.

“PFAS chemicals are commonly found in many, many products that we commonly use day-to-day, but it’s a known thing with aircraft firefighter foam,” said Patrick Jacuzzo, Marquette County Health Department Director of Environmental Health.

This means the chemical could have been used during training exercises at the former airport.

So far, 33 private residential drinking water wells have been tested for PFAS. Of those, 10 tested positive for detectable levels of PFAS. However, only one of those had levels that are above Michigan’s drinking water standards.

Results of PFAS testing in Negaunee Township so far.
Results of PFAS testing in Negaunee Township so far.(WLUC)

“It’s a long-term potential health issue for certain types of illnesses, but not something that’s acute that’s going to happen immediately,” said Jacuzzo.

The Marquette County Health Department says it is offering the one residence with unsafe levels bottled water. While the others are being offered a filtration system. It says neither of those are considered long-term solutions.

EGLE notes the township’s water system was tested as part of a statewide effort, and no PFAS was detected.

“There will be additional follow up sampling,” said Jacuzzo. “Maybe a few more water wells added to the list as far as drinking water goes.”

Later this week, there will be a meeting for residents to learn more about the study and the possible health effects related to PFAS exposure.

That will happen on Thursday, June 22 at 6 p.m. You can attend virtually or by phone.

To register for Thursday’s meeting: Click here to attend via zoom or to attend by the phone call 213-787-0529, and use conference code 881478.

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