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Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) was alerted in late October 2017 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 were in concentrations higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) health advisory levels. FAI is working with an environmental consulting firm, Shannon & Wilson, Inc., and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to identify and sample private water wells west of the airport beginning Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. On Aug. 21, 2018, DEC established guidance for the State of Alaska that groups five similar compounds into a combined PFAS action level to be compared to the EPA lifetime health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). The EPA lifetime health advisory level included just two compounds, PFOS and PFOA. As of Nov. 30, 2018 FAI has sampled 193 wells with 102 wells above the DEC Action Level.
FAI’s priority has been to identify and provide safe drinking water to impacted properties. FAI is providing alternative drinking water to homes with PFAS levels over 65 ppt that haven’t been connected to a municipal water source. As of October 2019, FAI has connected 86 properties to College Utilities and will connect the remaining properties in summer 2020. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin spring 2020.
In order to track PFAS movement in groundwater, DEC requires continued quarterly monitoring of wells with sample results above 35 ppt and annual monitoring of wells with sample results above 17.5 ppt.
FAI has contracted water delivery services through Vision Construction Intl. LLC. All known impacted residents and businesses to date have been provided alternate water. If you are in a sampling area and need alternate water prior to your next scheduled delivery please contact (907) 479-0380.
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For questions about testing & study:
Shannon & Wilson, Inc.
Marcy Nadel, Project Manager
For regulatory questions:
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservations,
Contaminated Site Program
Robert Burgess, Environmental Program Specialist III
Division of Spill Prevention and Response website:
For questions about PFAS health effects:
Alaska Department of Health & Social Services
Stacey Cooper, Health Assessor
Division of Public Health Website:
For questions about ARFF Training Area and all other inquiries:
Sammy Cummings, PFAS Coordinator
Angie Spear, Airport Manager
For claim filing instructions:
Alaska Department of Administration
Division of Risk Management
Sheri Gray, Risk Manager
PO Box 110218
Juneau, AK 99811-0218
For water service connections:
Jeremy Langton, FAI Engineering Assistant III