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Wurtsmith military base hit with another PFAS clean-up violation

ALPENA, Mich. – As the water contamination problem in Iosco County continues,  the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) caught Wurtsmith Air Force Base in violation of PFAS clean–up for the second time this year.

Recent tests in well and surface water samples near Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda Township reveals exceeding levels of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid or PFOS, a contaminant in the PFAS family.

The level of PFOS in the surface water amounts to more than 110 times the acceptable quality standard.

“We feel that this is moving far too slow,” said Scott Dean, spokesman of the DEQ. “It’s clear that there is contamination from the base that is negatively impacting, not only the environment, but also wildlife and the lives of the people that live around the base.”

The DEQ cited the air base back in January for not starting–up a second groundwater filtration system.

Wurtsmith installed a new one a few months ago.

The granular activated carbon filtration system pumps and treats 250 gallons per minute (gpm).

Because of the latest violation, the air force must filter the toxins at an increased rate (1,040 gpm) and tighten control of the PFAS plum migration.

“We believe it’s time for the Department of Defense to move much more quickly in the clean-up of this historic contamination caused by using firefighting foam on the base, ” said Dean.