Michigan PFAS Action Response Team seeking well-sampling near Gogebic County Airport

Western UP

IRONWOOD, Mich. (WJMN) – At a virtual community meeting on Tuesday, April 6, MPART along with Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Western UP Health Department (WUPHD) updated residents on a PFAS investigation being conducted at the Gogebic County Airport.

Phase one is mostly complete which includes sampling sites at the airport. Phase two involves sampling residential wells located near the airport. The meeting was recorded and wil be posted on the PFAS response website under PFAS sites in the Investigations drop-down menu, on the PFAS sites page, Gogebic County Airport can be searched.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are manmade chemicals resistannt to heat, water and oil. They have historically been used in fire-fighting foams at airports as was required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). PFAS can contaminate drinking water when products containing them are used or spilled onto the ground. Consumption water contaminated with PFAS can reduce fertility, increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increase the chance of thyroid disease and increase the chance of kidney and testicular cancers. MPART proposes residential well samping to determine if any wells have been impacted.

EGLE and MPART are seeking property owners to participate in the well sampling at no cost on April 13 and 14. Samples are generally taken from an outside water supply. The locations of greatest interest of well water testing are Bale Lane, Beagle Club Road, Skyway Road and Airport Road near the airport.

Residents that are interested in participating should contact Michael Jury at EGLE, by email: JURYM1@michigan.gov or by phone: (517)-242-9578 as soon as possible.

For questions related to PFAS and health, contact Rosa Jaiman, MDHHS, at JaimanR@michigan.gov, or call 517-331-1049 or 800-648-6942 and ask for Rosa Jaiman.

For information on PFAS and to view the recording of the community meeting, visit the PFAS response website.

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