The city has received a $196,093 state grant to test for potential PFAS contamination at the Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field.
PFAS are a group of manmade chemicals that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named emerging contaminants nationally. They have been used in items like carpet, food wrappers and, relevant to this grant award, firefighting foam. These chemicals do not break down in the environment, and animal studies show they may be harmful.
LimnoTech, out of Ann Arbor, will focus the investigation on sites where the City of Battle Creek aircraft rescue and firefighting services have used firefighting foam. The city took over airport firefighting services from the Michigan Air National Guard in 2014; the grant allows investigation only of non-military uses of potential PFAS.
The investigation will test for PFAS in the soil, stormwater, and/or groundwater at those identified sites – one where an aircraft crashed at the northeast end of the airport grounds, one on the far west side, one on the far east side, and a possible test site at the northeast end.
The city must use this grant within 18 months, and will submit a report to EGLE and Michigan Department of Transportation Aeronautics.
In 2018 the city tested our water system for PFAS; they were not found at any level in the city’s drinking water.
More information about PFAS in Michigan is at Michigan.gov/pfasresponse.