KI Sawyer plans to continue monitoring wells for PFAS contamination

Published: Feb. 11, 2020 at 4:01 PM EST
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U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) is calling on the Air Force to allocate a portion of the additional $60 million for PFAS remediation efforts.

K.I. Sawyer is one of the former Air Force bases included in this ongoing cleanup project.

In response to Sen. Peters' call for remediation efforts regarding PFAS contamination, K.I. Sawyer International Airport Director of Operations, Duane Dura,y makes it clear that money isn't necessarily designated for K.I. Sawyer International Airport.

"Our funding was already earmarked. We are fully funded for the year 2020 for the investigations that they will be doing,” said Duray.

Sen. Peters' push comes after the United States Air Force (USAF) found one resident's well near the base to have high levels of PFAS in drinking water.

The Air Force then immediately supplied the homeowner with drinking water, and installed a water filtration at the home.

"We have consistently heard from our constituents who are frustrated with the pace and scope of the Air Force's cleanup effort," the lawmaker wrote. "Congress provided this additional $60 million, specifically for PFAS and PFOA remediation at former installations like Wurtsmith and K.I. Sawyer, so that the Air Force can act with urgency and expediency."

Since this incident, the Air Force tested and resolved 28 residential wells for PFAS contamination.

"The area that they had found that had contamination with a private well has been addressed,” said Duray.

As for the Sawyer Municipal Water, Duray says there isn't any PFAS or PFOA contamination since receiving assurance from the United States Air Force.

"We currently do regular testing through [the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)], and we have found that our drinking water at Sawyer is perfectly safe,” he explained.

Duray says the Air Force will return in two years to check for further PFAS contamination in monitored wells.

"As reference to the Air Force, they had indicated that the PFAS contamination at Sawyer is very minimal."

Additionally, the Air Force will come this summer to drill several more monitoring wells to figure out where the PFAS is traveling and how it can create further issues.

"This is all related to that one well that they found some slight contamination, which they've already addressed,” explained Duray.


is scheduled for April 15 at Northern Michigan University.

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