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Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) seeking property owners to participate in well sampling for PFAS investigation near the Gogebic County Airport, Ironwood, MI

GOGEBIC COUNTY – MPART representatives from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and the Western UP Health Department (WUPHD) hosted a virtual community meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 6. The purpose of the meeting was to update local residents on a PFAS investigation being conducted at Gogebic County Airport. Phase 1 is mostly complete including sampling of sites at the airport. Phase 2 of the investigation will include sampling of residential wells near the airport. For those who were not able to attend, the meeting was recorded and will be posted within a few days on the PFAS Response website under Investigations, PFAS Sites; Gogebic County, Gogebic County Airport.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are manmade chemicals that are resistant to heat, water, and oil. PFAS was historically used at the airport in fire-fighting foams as was required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). PFAS can get into drinking water when products containing them are used or spilled onto the ground. Consumption of PFAS in drinking water may reduce fertility, increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increase chance of thyroid disease, and increase the chance of kidney and testicular cancers. The purpose of the proposed residential well sampling is to determine if any wells have been impacted.

There will be a limited number of residential wells sampled during Phase 2 of the investigation. EGLE and MPART are seeking property owners that wish to participate in the no cost well sampling to be conducted on Apr. 13 and 14. Samples are generally taken from an outside water supply. The locations of greatest interest for water well testing include Bale Lane, Beagle Club Road, Skyway Road, and Airport Road near the airport.

Residents who are interested in participating in the water well sampling should contact Michael Jury, EGLE, at JURYM1@michigan.gov or (517) 242-9578 as soon as possible.

For questions related to PFAS and health, contact Rosa Jaiman, MDHHS, at JaimanR@michigan.gov, or call 517-331-1049 or 800-648-6942 and ask for Rosa Jaiman.

For information on PFAS and to view the recording of the community meeting, visit https://www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/.

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