The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is providing technical assistance to the Michigan National Guard in their investigation of PFAS (per‐ and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination of groundwater at Camp Grayling. The source of the PFAS contamination is believed to be use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a fire suppressant agent, at the firefighting training area near the base airfield.
Mark Johnson, Ph.D.
(312) 886-6066 – FAX
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan National Guard have been testing residential wells and installing monitoring wells to characterize the extent of groundwater contamination. As of May 2019, 692 private wells have been tested for PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate). The well water in 215 wells were contaminated with PFOA and PFOS, and the water from 17 wells are above the state criteria and USEPA Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt.
MDHHS, in partnership with the local public health department (District #10), is reporting PFAS private drinking water results to residents, and is providing interim alternate water or water filters when applicable. MDHHS is evaluating the test results and will complete a written report with their findings. They will coordinate with the local health department and ATSDR. ATSDR continues to provide technical support to the MDHHS.
Testing the City of Grayling’s municipal water is planned. The local fire department is providing an alternate water supply for the base because the base water supply is contaminated with PFAS.
For more information about the investigation visit the MDHHS website at:
The former Wurtsmith Air Force Base (WAFB), located in Oscoda, Iosco County, MI operated from 1924 to 1993. Since, 2010 sampling by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the U.S. Air Force has identified elevated levels of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination in drinking water wells and some locally caught fish and deer. The source of the PFAS is likely past use of aqueous film- forming foam (AFFF) from fire training activities conducted at the former Wurthsmith Air Force Base. As of May 2019, 390 drinking water wells have been tested for PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). PFAS was found in 272 wells, and the PFAS levels in 2 wells are higher than the state criteria and USEPA Health Advisory level of 70 ppt.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been evaluating people’s exposure to PFAS. In 2012, MDHHS received results of analysis for PFAS in fish samples and issued a “Do Not Eat” health advisory for fish taken from Clark’s Marsh and the Au Sable River south and east of Clark’s Marsh due to PFOS levels in the fish tissue. In October of 2018, MDHHS and Michigan Department of Natural Resources issued a ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory for deer taken within five miles of Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda Township. The advisory is due to high levels of PFAS chemicals above the “Do Not Eat” level of 300 ppb found in a deer taken within five miles of the Marsh. In May 2019, MDHHS issued a public health advisory to avoid foam generated on Van Etten Lake, due to the high concentration of PFOS in the foam samples collected from the lake.
MDHHS has conducted health education in the community, helped the local health department provide an alternate water supply to the Oscoda community, and created advisory signs for affected water bodies and areas to be installed by the local health department. ATSDR will provide health education and technical support to the MDHHS and will review their reports.
More information is available at https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71551_2945_5105-285528–,00.htmlexternal icon
Wolverine Worldwide, Inc. (Wolverine) operated a Tannery in Rockford, Michigan, from the 1930’s through 2009. Wolverine constructed a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) at the Tannery property sometime between 1950 and 1960. From the early 1960’s through 1978 Wolverine disposed of waste sludge containing PFAS (per‐ and polyfluoroalkyl substances) from its WWTP. Most sludge was disposed of at two locations in Rockford, Michigan: the former House Street Disposal facility and a gravel pit. Many residences located near these two disposal areas use private water wells for their drinking water. The tannery buildings were torn down when the tannery closed.
Wolverine and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) have sampled over 1,700 private drinking water wells as part of the Northern Kent County investigation. Additionally, Wolverine has installed numerous monitoring wells across the site to delineate the horizontal and vertical extent of PFAS in groundwater. The area of investigation currently covers about 20 square miles. Wolverine has installed over 535 whole house and over 235 point of use (POU) filters in homes across the Northern Kent County area of investigation as an interim response.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is working with the Kent County Health Department to ensure residents are protected from further PFAS exposure, and health education and outreach is being provided in the community. MDHSS is working with ATSDR to further investigate and quantify PFAS exposures in this area.
For more information about Michigan PFAS investigations visit www.michigan.gov/pfasresponseexternal icon