Air Force Civil Engineer Center shares results of PFAS investigation at former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base

K.I. SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC) - The Air Force Civil Engineering Center, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Environment Quality, and Department of Health held a public forum at the Sawyer Community Center Wednesday. Those groups shared the results of their investigation into PFAS and other chemicals left over from Air Force use.

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center began their investigation in 2015, when they first heard about the discovery of PFAS at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base. they started by examining two fire training areas, since that is what the chemical was used for, they then identified 15 other potential areas to search.

"We've done investigation at those areas and we are now concentrating on drinking pathways, and drinking water wells," said AFCEC program manager for environmental work at K.I. Sawyer, Kay Grosinske.

So far, the presence of PFAS above safe state regulation has only been found at one location, in a well at a privately owned camp. The center provided the residents with bottled water and got to work trying to fix the problem.

"We designed a system, a carbon and resin treatment system, and when the camp was opened in the spring we installed it, and it's been running now since June," said Grosinske.

Their work is not over, as they will now continue to look for other problem areas across the former Air Force Base.

"Based on the information that the air force has now, they're next step is going to be working on the base around one of the known source areas to try to define better where exactly the source is and the migration path from that as it exits the base," said Michigan DEP Senior Geologist, Mark Petrie.

They expect the process of investigation to continue past next year, and if areas with high levels are found, work will begin on eradicating the chemicals. They say they are committed to solving the problem of PFAS.

"While it is in a few areas at very low levels, we are going forward and doing everything we can and everything necessary to protect human health and the environment," said Grosinske.

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center hopes to hold another public forum in the spring of 20-19. For more information from the Center on PFAS, visit their website. The state of Michigan also has a response site on PFAS.

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