PFAS Investigation - Muskegon County Airport

PFAS Investigation Around Muskegon County Airport
Timeline / Summary of Progress

May 2018:

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) requested that Muskegon County conduct an investigation around the Muskegon County Airport for the potential presence of PFAS in ground water used for drinking.

June - July 2018:

Muskegon County worked to identify residences located within the geographical area that use wells for drinking water. This process involved reviewing and analyzing public records including

  • Existing Well Records
  • Residential Well Permits
  • Municipal Water Records
  • County Property Records

Muskegon County worked with MDEQ to obtain approval of:

  • Sampling Analysis Plan (SAP)
  • Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP)
  • Certified Lab to Process Samples

Muskegon County also worked with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to develop an action plan for responding to potential exceedances.

August 2018:

Letters were sent to property owners/occupants within the initial investigation area to inform of the PFAS investigation. Twenty-seven (27) properties were identified for initial water sampling. Certified letters were sent to ask permission to collect water samples. Twenty-three (23) property owners agreed to participate. Water samples were collected and submitted to a certified, out-of-state lab for analysis.

September 2018:

Four properties exceeded the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) level of 70 ppt for polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds known as PFOA and PFOS. The property owners were notified and bottled water delivery began.  

October 2018:

MDEQ requested Muskegon County contract with a hydro-geological environmental consultant. An additional 47 properties were identified for water sampling. Certified letters were sent to ask permission to collect water samples. Bottled water delivery continued.

November 2018:

An additional 39 properties were identified for water sampling. Certified letters were sent to ask permission to collect water samples. Twenty-five (25) property owners agreed to participate. Water samples were collected and submitted to a certified, out-of-state lab for analysis. Muskegon County Board of Commissioners approved a Request for Qualifications for a hydro-geological environmental consultant for future investigative work.  Filter installation completed on two properties with exceedances. Bottled water delivery continued for properties with exceedances.

December 2018:

Thirty-five (35) property owners agreed to participate. Water samples were collected and submitted to a certified, out-of-state lab for analysis. Filter installation completed on two properties with exceedances. Bottled water delivery continued for properties with exceedances. Two new exceedances were identified, one for PFOA and PFOS and one for PFAS only. Door-to-door visits completed to follow-up on properties that had not responded to sampling requests.

January 2019:

Seven (7) property owners agreed to participate. Water samples were collected and submitted to a certified, out-of-state lab for analysis. Filter installation completed on one property with exceedance. Bottled water delivery continued for properties with exceedances. Two new exceedances were identified, one for PFOA and PFOS and one for PFAS only.

February 2019:

Muskegon County issued press release to announce public meeting scheduled February 19, 2019. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) modified the guidelines to offer filters to all homes with PFAS detections. An additional 29 properties were identified for water sampling. Certified letters were sent to ask permission to collect water samples. Fourteen (14) of the 29 properties have been sampled, results pending. Muskegon County hosted public meeting on February 19, 2019 to update residents on the investigation.

March 2019:

Nine water samples collected and submitted for analysis. Filter installation completed on one property with detection. Bottled water delivery continued for properties with exceedances. 

Sampling Results Summary as of March 14, 2019:


DescriptionNumber
Total Results Received105
PFAS Detected73
PFAS Not Detected32


As of March 14, 2019, 6 of 105 (5.7%) results exceeded the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) level.

Exceedance DescriptionNumber
PFOS & PFOA > 70 ppt.6