BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — The first phase of PFAS testing at the Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field shows higher levels than the state cleanup standard in multiple samples, the city said in a news release Monday.
The PFAS investigation at the city’s airport is happening alongside – and independently from – an ongoing investigation by the neighboring Air National Guard base.
City officials say it doesn’t affect the drinking water system in Battle Creek.
Drinking water testing in 2018 and 2020 found none of the compounds higher than the cleanup standard.
Results from earlier this month are still pending.
This first phase of airport testing focused on soil, groundwater and stormwater on airport property, and found PFAS in a majority of the soil and groundwater samples.
Areas investigated where firefighting foam was, or may have been, used in the past included:
- 2015 aircraft accident site in the northeast part of the airfield
- Runway emergency response area, where foam was reportedly used during two emergency landings, in the southern part of the airfield
- A west test site, used for required fire equipment calibration, in the western part of the airfield
- A south test site, used for required fire equipment calibration, in the southern part of the airfield
- Federal Aviation Administration hangar area and foam storage in the central part of the airfield
- A previous possible airport firefighting equipment storage site in the central part of the airfield
Other aspects of the report include:
- LimnoTech tested 56 soil samples and 29 groundwater samples.
- LimnoTech collected four rounds of stormwater samples at multiple airfield locations (three during wet weather and one during dry weather).
- Testing found no PFAS levels higher than the state groundwater standard at the crash test site.
- PFAS levels were higher than the cleanup standard in 29 of 56 soil samples.
- The state has cleanup criteria for seven PFAS compounds in groundwater. Testing detected six of those in airport groundwater samples. A total of seven samples showed levels higher than the cleanup criteria for at least one compound.
- Stormwater tests found no PFAS levels higher than the surface water quality standards.
Battle Creek received a $196,093 state grant last year to test for possible PFAS contamination at the airport.
Read the full report here.