Airport files its action plan for PFAS

A consultant for Martha’s Vineyard Airport has filed the immediate response action plan with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for contaminants found in drinking water at properties located south of the airport.
The plan calls for installing point-of-entry, carbon-filter systems to remove the contaminants from as many as 26 wells, including six that are considered an imminent hazard to the people living at the addresses.
Though no actual addresses are used in the report, Tetra Tech, the environmental consultant, has said the highest concentrations were in the vicinity of Edgartown–West Tisbury Road.
The report is nearly 2,000 pages, is posted on the state Energy & Environmental Affairs website, and is expected to be posted on the airport’s website.
“The reported concentrations of the five target PFAS compounds in private well water from six of the 100 private wells sampled were at concentrations that represent a potential [imminent hazard] to human health due to consumption of the water,” the report states.
The report details the timeline of the testing, which began last March with Ron Myrick, an engineer with Tetra Tech, pitching to airport officials to test for PFAS on airport property ahead of MassDEP setting its guidelines.
One point-of-entry system has already been installed, and has been effective in removing PFAS from the water.
Quarterly testing of the systems will be done.
The systems will be installed at the five remaining addresses where an imminent hazard has been identified.
In the interim, all of those addresses are being supplied bottled water.

Church well near Dillingham Airport tests high for chemicals found in firefighting foam

A church well near the Dillingham Airport was found to have high levels of chemicals typically found in firefighting foam, a press release from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities announced Friday.
According to the release, high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl subastances (PFAS) were found in one well at the Holy Rosary Church.
“The safety of Dillingham residents is of utmost importance," DOT&PF Deputy Commissioner John Binder said in the release.
"As soon as PFAS were discovered, DOT&PF in collaboration with DEC and Shannon & Wilson, Inc. initiated the process of notifying the impacted residents to provide an alternate source of drinking water."
DEC began its initial sampling of private water wells near the airport in December.
Shannon & Wilson, Inc. was contracted by DOT&PF to finish the preliminary investigation.
This includes an in-depth well search and sampling.
"PFAS are commonly used in products for fire suppression, resistance to wear, and repelling oil, stains, grease, and water," the release stated.
The use of AFFF during firefighting equipment testing at the Dillingham Airport is the presumed source of PFAS contamination in the affected wells.
Those who use the Holy Rosary Church well as a drinking water source are being advised to visit the Dillingham Senior Center instead.

State Finds High Concentrations Of Chemical Pollution At East Hampton Airport

After a months-long investigation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said in report released on Thursday that it has found four areas on the East Hampton Airport property with very high levels of the chemical compounds that have been found in drinking water wells throughout the southern portion of Wainscott.
In two of the locations, the levels of PFOS, one of the two chemicals found, were four times the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion—a bar that has itself been criticized as being many times higher than the dose that may actually pose health concerns.
The two sites of highest concentration were found on the airport facility itself, where plane crash training-and-response drills have been held.
The second highest concentrations were found under a cleared area at the northern end of one of the airport’s secondary runways, where the DEC report says training drills were staged.
"DEC’s Site Characterization for the East Hampton Airport site revealed four distinct Areas of Concern where additional study is needed to fully delineate the nature and extent of the identified contamination," said Michael Ryan, director of DEC’s Division of Environmental Remediation.
The DEC has also designated the neighboring Wainscott Sand & Gravel property as a site with potential additional contamination, because another mass casualty drill was held there in June 2000, and is working with the owners to establish a similar testing protocol and investigation as was done on the airport property over the last year.
Soon after the discovery of the chemical PFOS and PFOA in well water in Wainscott in October 2017, the town began offering to supply bottled water to all residents of Wainscott.
By last spring the town was pushing forward with providing grants to homeowners to install charcoal water filtration systems that can scrub out the two chemicals from well water and in the spring the town and Suffolk County Water Authority announced plans to extend water mains throughout the hamlet.
Last week, the town filed a lawsuit against the Bridgehampton Fire Department and East Hampton Village, which owns the East Hampton Fire Department, and the manufacturers and suppliers of the fire-suppressant foams that were used by the departments over the years.
The town has also been named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of Wainscott homeowners—one of dozens of such suits that have been filed across the country over contamination of drinking water supplies by chemicals from firefighting foams.

MassDEP: Airport doing ‘good job’ with testing

“When it gets into the environment, it doesn’t break down.” The airport investigation began last spring and in July there were elevated levels found in samples taken on airport property.
Brock Callen, a resident of West Tisbury, criticized airport officials for being slow to report those July results publicly.
Long after the crowd left, commissioners mostly applauded the response to this environmental crisis by airport management, but commissioner Richard Knabel said the airport needs to answer that question for the public.
Two weeks ago, airport officials announced three positive results for PFAS in private wells in a neighborhood south of the airport that launched a more aggressive investigation of sampling.
A total of 18 samples have been tested with seven of them above 70 ppt, Ron Myrick, an environmental engineer with Tetra said.
Earlier this week, results from eight additional private wells were released, which showed only one above that guideline.
That sample, taken near Edgartown-West Tisbury Road, was 245 ppt.
Myrick repeated what he said when the contamination became public, that it will take time and more data to determine the best long-term solutions.
The testing has centered on the neighborhood directly south of the airport in West Tisbury, off Edgartown–West Tisbury Road.
Later in the meeting, the airport commission authorized a new contract for Tetra Tech for $105,000.

SW Florida International Airport upgrades terminal amenities ahead of busy season

New improvements debut at RSW including lactation rooms and more cell phone charging areas Andrew West, News-Press More mobile device plug-ins and a lactation room for nursing mothers and babies.
Those are some of the upgrades that Southwest Florida International Airport will have ready at its passenger terminal in time for the busy winter travel season.
The inspiration for such improvements came from travelers’ feedback and recommendations from Lee County Port Authority staff.
The Port Authority thinks the changes will make travel more pleasant for now.
It matters that an airport terminal makes a good impression on visitors.
Fill up your water bottle Who hasn’t had to pitch a bottle of water or soda before entering a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint?
Although many airports already have them, these rooms will become a requirement for medium- and large-hub airports as of Sept. 30, 2022.
The law says a lactation room must be in the area past security checkpoints, which means RSW will have at least one such room post-security, after its terminal expansion.
But there’s a “high correlation between satisfaction and the amount people spend at an airport,” said Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at J.D.
Power ranked Southwest Florida International third – behind Buffalo Niagara International and Indianapolis International – for medium-size U.S. airports.

Boil-water advisories: Dec. 13, 2018

Raleigh County Public Service District has issued a boil-water advisory for the Airport System, Old Crow and Country Club Drive.
The advisory follows a water main break.
Customers in these areas should boil their water for at least one full minute prior to use until further notice.

Airport Takes Steps to Address Water Contamination

At a public meeting called Monday, airport leaders and their environmental consultant said strategic testing is now under way in private wells south of the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road, downgradient of the airport.
By Thursday this week, unsafe levels of contaminants had been found in six private wells, according to Ron Myrick, an environmental consultant and director of remediation for Tetra Tech working for the airport.
Airport director Ann Richart said she first became aware of the PFAS problems from firefighting foam used at airports late last year.
As a result, she said in January 2018 the airport signed a $30,000 contract with Tetra Tech to begin testing the water in monitoring wells around the airport.
In April, Tetra Tech test results showed high levels of PFAS in the monitoring wells — more than 1,000 parts per trillion, Ms. Richart said.
In September, after further analysis, Ms. Richart said Tetra Tech recommended that testing be expanded to private wells south of the airport.
When the first test results from private wells came back early last week, the airport took steps to begin public notification and also continue testing, Ms. Richart said.
She also said the airport has taken steps to adopt new protocols for how the firefighting foam is used in yearly training drills (the drills were done twice a year but were changed to once a year in 2017 with FAA approval).
One asked how the firefighting foam is contained after it is used for drills.
“We’re testing wells ourselves.

Water near Palmerston North airport cleared of contamination

Households with drinking water bores near Palmerston North airport have been largely cleared of contamination by firefighting foam chemicals.
The chemicals, linked to run off from firefighter training at the airport, were found in only one out of a dozen bores.
In that bore, it tested at a level far below the maximum safe guideline.
"We are now in the process of informing the 12 households of the good news that their bore water is safe for drinking," Palmerston North Airport’s chief executive David Lanham said in a statement.
Soil also tested at below the human health screening values for industrial and commercial land.
Surface water testing of Mangaone stream showed low levels of the chemicals.
Health authorities are still advising people to avoid eating eels or watercress from this stream, and various other waterways around the airport.
More tests are going on of eels and aquatic life.
The airport has admitted using a type of foam banned in 2006 up until last December.

Testing shows extent of contaminated water and soil near Palmerston North Airport

A banned toxic firefighting foam used at commercial airports has contaminated a Palmerston North stream, but at a low level.
In the second stage of testing, surface water was sampled and the toxic chemical was detected, including in Mangaone Stream, at low concentrations.
* Testing shows surface water and soil contaminated near Palmerston North Airport * Testing for contamination begins at commercial airports after banned firefighting foam found * Toxic foam found in fire trucks and storage at three more commercial airports * Nationwide investigation into toxic firefighting foam launched​ Further testing is now planned in the northern stream and southern drain, and the Mangaone Stream adjacent to the airport, to understand whether eels and other aquatic life have been affected.
The problem has since spread.
Sediment sampling from streams detected the toxic chemical in the northern stream and southern drain, but sediment in Mangaone Stream was not contaminated.
Ground water samples were also taken from 12 properties predominantly north and west of the airport, which had some reliance on bores for drinking water.
One tested indicated the presence of the toxic chemicals, but it was lower than drinking water guidelines.
MidCentral District Health Board Public Health Services advised swimming in potentially affected waterways did not pose a significant health risk.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said investigations into the toxic chemical in other countries hadn’t reported any ill effects on pets or livestock.

Boil-water advisories: Oct. 16, 2018

Town of Meadow Bridge has issued a boil-water advisory for Cowtown area.
The advisory follows a supply line break.
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Raleigh County Public Service District has lifted a boil-water advisory for the Airport System, Cherry Hills area.
Raleigh County Public Service District has lifted a boil-water advisory for the Coal City System water customers.