(Fairbanks, Alaska) – Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) was recently alerted to concentrations of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the groundwater at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Training Areas. The PFAS discovered in the groundwater at the ARFF Training Areas are in concentrations higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory levels. FAI is working with an environmental consulting firm, Shannon & Wilson, Inc., and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to identify and sample private water wells west of the airport beginning Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.
“The safety of Fairbanks residents is paramount. As soon as PFAS were discovered on airport property, FAI initiated the process of testing neighboring properties. We will share test results with residents as they become available,” said Airport Manager, Jeff Roach.
PFAS are commonly used in products for fire suppression, resistance to wear, and repelling oil, stains, grease, and water. PFAS can be found in carpets, upholstery, apparel, paper, packaging products, non-stick cookware, food packaging, personal care products, and in firefighting aqueous film forming foams (AFFF).
AFFF has been used at FAI during training exercises and emergency events for many years.
Systematic testing will commence next week in the areas identified on the attached map. Residents in testing areas who are concerned and would like to discuss an alternate drinking source can contact, Shannon & Wilson, Inc. at 479-0600.
PFAS are considered emerging contaminants and the health effects are not well known. To learn more about PFAS visit the following websites:
Department of Environmental Conservation